Saturday 23 November 2019

Few Dutch are against accepting refugees fleeing war and persecution

Photo: Depositphotos.com

More than three-quarters of the Dutch think the Netherlands should take in refugees fleeing war or persecution, according to new figures from national statistics agency CBS.

Some 8% are opposed and 15% have no opinion, the short CBS survey of 3,300 people on attitudes to refugees shows.

At the same time, people are sharply divided about the impact on the Netherlands norms and values. Just under half (45%) think refugees are not a threat to the Dutch way of life, but 27% say they are. And one in five think refugees are also a threat to public safety.

Men, people with low levels of education and people living in rural areas are less likely to accept refugees than the better educated, women and people living in towns and cities.

Some 16,000 refugees and 14,000 family members came to the Netherlands last year, most of whom were fleeing the fighting in Syria or Eritrea. There was also a sharp rise in the number of Turkish nationals claiming asylum in the Netherlands, following the 2016 failed coup.

The government said late last year it is planning to close dozens of refugee centres and assessment offices because of the sharp drop in the number of Syrian asylum seekers coming to the Netherlands.

The government’s social policy unit SCP is due to publish its latest survey of the big issues playing in Dutch society later this week.

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