Eritrean girls told to avoid Rotterdam church after sex abuse charge

The central agency for the reception of asylum seekers in the Netherlands COA is advising minor Eritrean girls not to attend church services at the Eritrean Orthodox Church in Rotterdam after the organization received numerous signals of young women being abused in the community around the church, NOS reports.

Over the past time a large number of Eritrean girls under the age of 18 became pregnant. The COA believes that this is reason enough to be concerned. "We received indications from staff, Vluchtelingenwerk and guardianship agency Nidos which indicate possible abuses in the community around the church" a spokesperson for the COA said to the broadcaster. According to him, there are a number of serious cases.

Along with Nidos, the COA advised the young asylum seekers' guardians to not let them attend services in the Rotterdam church. "Unaccompanied minors are sespecially vulnerable. We immediately reported this to the police and the Expertise Center for Human Trafficking and Smuggling", the spokesperson said.

The police have not launched a criminal investigation as of yet, but are investigating whether the case warrants it.