More calls to reform refugee treatment, deportation process

There is room for improvement in the deportation of failed asylum seekers in the Netherlands, according to the National Ombudsman. He finds that in general much is being done to ensure that deportation happens carefully, but medical care and the sharing of personal information can definitely improve.

The National Ombudsman said this in a report released on Tuesday following an investigation launched after the European Ombudsman requested information on the situation in the Netherlands.

He made recommendations to State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice, who is responsible for the asylum policy, on medical care, access to complaint filing, investigating incidents and data transfer.

The Ombudsman is of the opinion that the Koninklijke Marechaussee, the Royal Military Police, generally succeeds in establishing and building on personal contact with the failed refugee during the deportation process. They do so to prevent the refugee resisting his deportation and the situation escalating.

"However, it s always about people", the Ombudsman writes. He sees room for improvement in the medical care of people awaiting deportation and in data transfer. "With medical care it is not clear in which situations it is actually checked whether there are medical obstacles before making the trip. It also happens that the Marechaussee is faced with medical questions, while they do not have medical expertise. They should always be able to call on trained medical personnel." A recent report by the United Nations also stated that failed asylum seekers should always have access to medical support.

The National Ombudsman also believes that the data transfer on personal information, such as posture, the langue a person speaks and whether the person is at peace with his deportation, can be shared better.

The Security and Justice Inspectorate, which supervises the deportation flight from the moment that a failed asylum seeker arrives at the airport, should investigate every incident. And refugees should be given information on the possibility of lodging complaints before and during the deportation process.