Asylum seekers in the Limburg village of Tienray are being provided with fluorescent jackets because ‘people with dark skins are not easily seen at night’, local paper De Limburger reports on Friday.
The measure, which will not be rigorously enforced, was drawn up by a committee made up of locals, council officials, police and the COA refugee council, the paper says.
The committee report states the jackets are needed because of asylum seekers ‘dark skins’ which mean ‘people only see them at the last minute, which can give people a fright’.
Anti-racism organisations have questioned the move. ‘I understand that road safety is important, but when you write down on paper that asylum seekers cannot be seen at night because of their dark skins, then it is worrying,’ said Dick Houtzager, of anti-discrimination Art 1. ‘I would not call it racism, but you are putting a label on asylum seekers,’ he was quoted as saying.
A spokesman for the local refugee council told the paper the measure was needed because asylum seekers were not aware of the traffic rules. ‘They walk over roads and cycle paths and take no notice of other road users. So we want them to wear a jacket if they walk to another village at night,’ Claude Fasseur said.
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