Crisis cabinet talks on how to deal with failed asylum seekers resumed on Friday afternoon in the prime minister’s offices.
Earlier this week, the human rights organisation Council of Europe said the Netherlands did have a duty to provide bed and board to people who have failed to win refugee status, in line with the provisions of the European social charter.
However, the ruling did not state what the Netherlands should do to solve the situation and noted that the charter raises complex issues and is limited in scope.
The Labour party wants to formalise basic, emergency accommodation for failed asylum seekers while the VVD Liberals say this will only attract more people to try to claim refugee status.
The Netherlands currently evicts people who have lost their claim from refugee centres and expects them to return home. It is unclear how many undocumented immigrants – including rejected asylum seekers – are still in the Netherlands and Dutch media estimates range from 100,000 to at least 10,000.
Around one in two applications for refugee status is successful.
In Belgium, the situation is similar to the Netherlands. Failed asylum seekers are given bed and board for 30 days and are then expected to leave the country, broadcaster Nos reports.
In Germany, it is a criminal offence to help illegal immigrants, apart from in an emergency, but in some regions children can still attend schools.
In Britain, social organisations and churches organise shelter for people who have been refused asylum. Those who cannot return home can claim a pass entitling them to 35 pounds sterling of groceries a week.
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