Report: Netherlands lets vulnerable kids fall by the wayside

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(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons). ((Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons))

Certain groups of vulnerable children still get too little attention in the Netherlands, according the Annual Report on Children's rights by Defense for Children and UNICEF. "There's been progress, but there are still vulnerable children falling through the cracks. This has to change", Jan Bouke Wijbrandi, director of UNICEF Nederland, concludes, ANP reports.

The organizations are very concerned about the fact that the Netherlands has no clear figures available on the group of children who deal with child abuse - it is unclear how many abused children there are in the Netherlands and how quickly they get help.

"Moreover, there is no nationwide process that ensures that children on Texel are treated in a similar way as an abuse child in Tilburg. We must avoid this risk of unequal treatment", Aloys van Rest, director of Defense for Children said, according to ANP.

Another group the organizations are concerned about is teenagers in asylum centers, RTL Nieuws reports. According to the organizations, this group receives too little guidance and attention and are easily exposed to alcohol and drugs. They find little rest in the large-scale reception centers they end up in and see few prospects. And these are young people who have a violent past behind them.

These young people are assigned a guardian in the asylum centers, but each guardian is responsible for 20 to 25 adolescents. "In such a location there is no one looking after them", a UNICEF spokesperson said. "There you see children slowly lose their way."

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