A 14-year-old Syrian boy has committed suicide at a refugee centre in Glize, Limburg, refugee settlement agency COA has confirmed.
Ali Ghezawi, one of a family with six children, had been without a permanent home for nine years. The family had spent five years in a refugee camp in Lebanon before applying for, and being granted, asylum in Spain.
However, disappointment over their living conditions and lack of work in Spain drove the family to the Netherlands, but their request for asylum here was rejected under EU rules.
‘When we heard that we could not stay in the Netherlands, something snapped inside him,’ his mother Aisha told the AD. ‘He did not want to talk or eat anymore.’
A spokesman for the COA told DutchNews.nl that it does not keep separate figures for refugee suicides.
Last year, the COA did register 590, ‘self-destructive acts’ at refugee centres, which includes suicide attempts and hunger strikes.
Asylum seekers who show suicidal behaviour are urged to ask for a referral to specialist services via refugee health centres, the spokesman said.
If you, or someone you know, needs help, you can contact 0900 0113 (available 24/7) or to go website 113.nl.
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