Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 09:06
Dutch residents step up to house asylum seekers
A growing number of Dutch residents are giving asylum seekers shelter in their own homes. This involves both recognized asylum seekers who are waiting for the municipalities to find them a home and failed asylum seekers who can not return to their own country and are trying to yet get a status through humanitarian reasons. This is according to Inlia, a national organization that helps asylum seekers in distress, and the Netherlands Protestant Church's relief organization Church in Action, Volkskrant reports. John van Tilborg, director of Inlia, estimates that this involves about 100 Dutch households. He has known about this type of unofficial shelter provided by individuals for some time, but only recently realized that it is much more extensive than he thought. A group of volunteers has been trying to help recognized asylum seekers to find a room somewhere since last month with the action "Take a refugee home". One of the founders told the newspaper that 5 individuals have reported to their organization Refugees Welcome to date. Both Inlia and VluchtelingenWerk Nederland have reservations about individuals taking in asylum seekers. They feel that citizens are taking a risk. "Many asylum seekers are truggling with trauma. There are psychiatric patients that need medication. They are a risk to themselves and their environment and therefore need professional help." according to Van Tilborg. A spokesperson for VluchtelingenWerk agrees: "I would say: look before you leap." he told the Volkskrant. According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Security and Justice, taking in an asylum seeker is permitted, provided that it has no commercial purpose.