Wednesday, 15 April 2015 - 18:24
Netherlands breaking EU rules for asylum seekers: Social Rights committee
The Netherlands has breached the European Union rules on the reception of asylum seekers, such as access for food, clothing and shelter, for undocumented adults, the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) states. A Council of Europe human rights committee must now decide whether or not it will take action against the Netherlands based on the harshly critical ECSR report, unless conditions of asylum seekers quickly improve. Prime Minister Mark Rutte was going to consult with members of the coalition government on Wednesday to discuss the living conditions of asylum seekers, AD reported. Coalition parties right-wing VVD and left-wing PvdA (Labour) are divided on the issue. Where as PvdA wants to give the undocumented asylum seekers what the European treaty promises, the VVD is opposed to this. Rutte is consulting Labour leader Diederik Samsom, VVD party leader Halbe Zijlstra and Security and Justice Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff. It is yet unclear if Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher, also the Minister of Social Affairs, will take part in the meeting. Coalition party members worked until 2.30 a.m. on Wednesday debating a possible solution to the ECSR committee statement and another small meeting was held later in the morning, according to AD's sources. VVD does not want to guarantee the "bed, bath and bread" automatically for asylum seekers, which they say would have a magnetic effect on refugees. The VVD rebuts the ECSR report, saying that undocumented immigrants residing illegally on Dutch soil do not fall under the Council of Europe's treaty conditions. The ECSR disagrees. ECSR committee members monitor the member states' application of the human rights treaty conditions, drawn up by the Council of Europe. A group of failed asylum seekers were evicted from Vluchtgarage refuge on Monday and set up a tent camp in De Pijp, Amsterdam.