Netherlands again criticised for lack of asylum seeker childcare, education
Thousands of refugee children in the Netherlands have little access to childcare and education. They also often have to move from one shelter to another more than once. All of these factors have a negative impact on their development.
This is according to an alliance of 158 organizations, including Unicef, refugee organization Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland, Church in Action and the General Education Union, in the Volkskrant on Friday. "Long periods of insecurity and child-unfriendly shelter are harmful to children", Karin Kloosterboer, child rights expert at Unicef, said to the newspaper on behalf of the alliance.
The organizations are calling on the Dutch government to hold to the Unite Nations' Children's Rights Convention, which states in Article 2 that refugee children have the same rights as any other child in the country and that the State must take all necessary measures to ensure it. Earlier this week Unicef Nederland director Jan Bouke Wijbrandi also raised concerns about the treatment of refugee kids in the country. He called on the government to see the child first, and refugee second.
There are currently more than 10 thousand children living in asylum centers across the Netherlands, some of them in emergency and crisis shelters. The central agency for the reception of refugees COA told the newspaper in an reaction that the massive increase in the number of refugees arriving in the country, often makes it impossible to provide adequate facilities and care.