Sunday 05 April 2020

Conversation techniques are a new weapon to get refugees to leave

refugees protestJunior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff hopes new interview techniques will lead to more failed asylum seekers leaving the Netherlands, the Volkskrant says on Friday.

Fewer than half the asylum seekers who are refused a residency permit actually leave the country, either voluntarily or under police escort, the paper says.

Now, however, deportation service officials are learning to use a new method of communication developed by Utrecht’s hbo college.

The aim is to reach an ‘effective balance’ between building up a relationship with the ‘foreigner’ and exercising control and adding pressure to persuade him to leave, the Volkskrant says.

Research bureau Regioplan said earlier this month that officials can get more people to leave the country if they use behavioural techniques based on ‘motivation’ and ‘coaching’. This, for example, is more effective than cutting off their access to bed and board.

Last year 2,300 people were deported against their will, of whom 707 were sent back to their country of origin under police escort.

Another trial aimed at persuading people to leave is running at locations in Den Helder, Burgum and Gilze. This project involves familiarising people with their countries of origin via computer, dvds and decor. The results are due in December.

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