Incidents in asylum centers doubled in 5 years: report

The number of incidents in asylum seekers' centers in the Netherlands more than doubled over the past five years, from over 8 thousand to nearly 17 thousand last year, NRC reported based on documents from the Ministry of Justice and Security.

Reported incidents involve things like name calling, fighting, hunger strikes, and arson. Over the past years, the number of reports of house rule violations and verbal abuse increased particularly sharply, according to the newspaper. 

The number of incidents increased, but the number of people seeking asylum in the Netherlands decreased over the past years.

According to NRC, the number of asylum seekers from "safe" countries, who have a low chance of being granted refugee status and residency in the Netherlands, are overrepresented in the incident figures. The newspaper therefore linked the increase in the number of incidents to a shift from asylum seekers with a good chance of asylum to those with little chance. 

The staff of the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA are also more willing to report incidents, according to the newspaper. 

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Security told the newspaper that as an "interim solution", asylum seekers who cause problems are split up and placed in different asylum centers. In the event of serious problems, asylum seekers can be transferred to the enforcement and supervision location in Hoogeveen, where they face a stricter regime with less freedom, and are not allowed to leave the site.