Independent commission will look into lengthy refugee procedures

Junior health minister Paul Blokhuis. Photo:

Junior justice minister Mark Harbers is setting up an independent commission to look into lengthy refugee procedures, following the Howick and Lili case.

The commission will focus on asylum seekers who repeatedly appeal for the right to remain in the Netherlands and are repeatedly turned down, and will come up with recommendations for speeding up the process, Harbers said.

Lili and Howick’s mother tried for nine years to get a residency permit and was finally deported last year. The children were given a last minute reprieve from deportation on Saturday, shortly before they were due to be sent back.

Harbers told MPs in a briefing on Tueday that he wanted to prevent similar situations arising in the future.

Broadcaster NOS said that preventing asylum seekers from making repeat applications would go against the UN treaty on refugees, which states children can always start new proceedings. The Netherlands is a signatory to that treaty. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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