Friday 21 February 2020

German court says Dutch treatment of asylum seekers is inhumane

A German court has refused to send a Somali asylum seeker back to the Netherlands, saying he runs the risk of receiving ‘inhumane treatment’, the NRC said on Saturday.

The man lost his appeal for asylum in the Netherlands and then went to Germany, the NRC said.

The authorities there wanted to return him under the Dublin agreement, which states refugee applications must be dealt with in the EU country a refugee first sets foot in.

However, a court in Darmstadt refused to do so, saying that it is not certain asylum seekers in the Netherlands are given basic provisions such as food and a place to stay.

Work

The court said that in the Netherlands refugees are not allowed to work nor are they given government support. ‘Human values cannot be qualified by asylum policy,’ the NRC quoted the court as saying.

The paper says it is extremely rare for a EU country to use this reasoning to refuse to deport an asylum seeker to another European country.

Refugees are provided with food and shelter while their claim for asylum is being processed. However, if their claim fails and they refuse to go home, they can be evicted from refugee centres and left to fend for themselves.

Criticism

The  Council of Europe’s social rights committee said in a preliminary ruling last year the Netherlands must continue to provide failed asylum seekers with food, clothing and a roof over their heads.

However, junior justice minister Fred Teeven has so far refused to do so unless children are involved.

The refugee body Vluchtelingenwerk estimates some 5,000 people are evicted from refugee centres every year.

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