Refugee tent camp to close in May; 3,000 moved out
The Heumensoord asylum camp in Nijmegen is closing early in May. All of the about 3 thousand people living in the largest asylum center in the Netherlands need to be moved elsewhere by May 2nd, the COA announced on Tuesday, ANP reports.
The COA is the central agency responsible for the reception of asylum seekers in the Netherlands. The agency needs the month of May to break down part of the camp so that Heumensoord is available for first coaches of the Special Olympics and then the Nijmegen Vierdaagse runners in June.
The COA already started moving groups of asylum seekers that have not started their asylum procedure yet. The first group was moved to a new emergency shelter in Groningen. Asylum seekers whose procedure already started, or is set to start very soon, will stay in Heumensoord until a place that fits their status is found.
According to the municipalities of Heumen and Nijmegen, the COA assured them that each one of the asylum seekers will be moved to a proper place. The COA is handing Heumensoord back to the municipalities on June 1st.
The Heumensoord asylum camp spent much time in the news since it opened in October last year. Asylum seekers protested against the poor living conditions in the camp multiple times. And there were several reports of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender asylum seekers being harassed. One such found notes containing death threats under his bed.