Retired Amsterdam jail ready for 400 asylum seekers

Vluchtgarage protesters at IND
Asylum seekers protest in front of the IND immigration office in Amsterdam. April 15, 2015 (photo: Wij Zijn Hier / Facebook). Asylum seekers protest in front of the IND immigration office in Amsterdam. April 15, 2015 (photo: Wij Zijn Hier / Facebook)

A former Amsterdam jail on Havenstraat will open up its doors to 400 refugees becoming the city's fourth reception center for asylum seekers. The former prison was used last year as a gathering place for a group of refugees that have relocated from one squatted building to another in Amsterdam

The asylum seekers previously renamed the jail, “Vluchthaven,” a play-on-words of the Dutch word "Luchthaven" for "airport", that roughly translates as a safe haven for those who have fled from another place.

The City of Amsterdam previously committed to accommodate 1,500 refugees. The “Vluchthaven” emergency shelter is intended as a one-week shelter for asylum seekers, before they are transferred to one of the country's larger shelters.

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