Churches also pushing gov't to help orphaned children in Greek refugee camps
Over 750 pastors of churches throughout the Netherlands signed a petition urging the government to help orphaned children in refugee camps in Greece. If proper reception for them cannot be arranged in Greece, these child asylum seekers should be brought to the Netherlands, the religious leaders said in the latest push for the government to help these children, Trouw reports.
The pastors' appeal will be sent to the two Christian parties in the coalition, the CDA and ChristenUnie, on Monday evening. "We should be a guide country in the field of children's rights, but our policy is very pale and dull," Jan de Beer from Zwolle, who initiated this campaign, said to Trouw. "We want more attention for the thousands of children who are trapped in refugee camps."
Despite pressure from multiple angles, including 80 CDA departments, to shelter 500 orphans in the Netherlands, and multiple municipalities saying they would take in these children, the coalition decided against doing so. Instead the Rutte III coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie said they'd arrange 48 shelter places in Greece for orphans from the camps on the Greek islands.
"The policy is now very focused on those 48 children. That's great, but there are thousands of other children who need help. What will happen to them?" De Beer said. He added that many pastors who signed the appeal also noted that they are willing to take in a child. "We do not want to place all responsibility with the cabinet, but we also want to be there for these children."