Dutch asylum policy, solitary confinement use angers Amnesty Int’l

European countries, including the Netherlands, are losing sight of protecting international human rights in the wake of the refugee crisis and the rise of terrorist organization ISIS, according to Amnesty International's annual report, NU reports.

The report particularly criticizes the Netherlands for its tendency to detain undocumented migrants and put them in solitary confinement. Each year thousands of foreigners end up in a cell because they have to leave the Netherlands, or are not allowed to enter it. Several hundred of them are placed in solitary confinement, according to the human rights organization.

Amnesty Nederland director Eduard Nazarski is also concerned about political parties such as the VVD and CDA calling for an end to the refugee convention, calling it undermining humanitarian values. The two parties denounce the convention because they believe that it does not account for the current high number of asylum seekers. They also point out that not all countries signed the treaty, which means that countries like Turkey, for example, are not bound by the same asylum obligations as the Netherlands.

Europe as a whole is no longer focusing on protecting human rights, and is thereby undermining the system of rules and conventions on fundamental freedoms and human rights that were built after World War II, according to Amnesty.

"Human rights are not rules for times when things go well, but for times of crisis", Nazarksi said. "The standards of the refugee convention, namely that you provide a safe haven to fleeing people, are no longer central. Politicians disqualify asylum seekers, juggle intake figures, and thus are not honest to the citizen. And that while we will have to deal with these problems for the next five to ten years."

Amnesty also has criticism on ethnic profiling by the Dutch police. According to the organization, the government has done too little to address this problem. "In a constitutional state, you need police who protect you, also against discrimination. Then you can not have that you are stopped because you drive a nice car and appear slightly different than the average Dutchman", Nazarksi said to NU.

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