Mayors working on crisis asylum shelter as Red Cross break down tents
The 25 mayors on the Security Council will discuss the crisis reception of asylum seekers during a meeting in Utrecht on Monday evening. Among other things, they’ll talk about the crisis plan the Cabinet announced on Friday and the crisis emergency shelter the security regions are already organizing. State Secretary Eric van der Burg for Asylum will attend the meeting.
The Security Council’s agenda has been focused on crisis emergency shelters to relieve some pressure on the overcrowded asylum application center in Ter Apel for weeks. The mayors recently said that it would be challenging to realize locations for hundreds of asylum seekers for a longer period. That is a problem for the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) because if a crisis shelter closes, the asylum seekers who stayed there will have to return to Ter Apel. The intention is to set up a second registration center elsewhere in the Netherlands.
On Monday morning, the Red Cross started breaking down the tents it had set up on the grounds of the Ter Apel application center. The 200 extra places the tents offered are unnecessary now that extra reception places for asylum seekers have been created elsewhere in the country. On Saturday night, for the first time in weeks, no asylum seekers had to sleep in the sports hall, in a tent, or on a chair in the center’s waiting room.
The Red Cross said it was pleased that the Cabinet announced a crisis plan to deal with the problems in the asylum shelters, saying it was pleased that the Cabinet is now “taking the crisis seriously.” “We hope that a more humane solution is now approaching.” The organization will remain in contact with the COA, the Ministry of Justice and Security, and the security regions to continue to monitor developments “closely” and possibly offer support.
The mayors on the Security Council will also discuss the separate reception of Ukrainian refugees. The reception places in municipalities are gradually filling up. Host families are still ready to accommodate Ukrainian refugees, but that could become difficult in the coming holiday months. Municipalities and security regions must mediate between families and Ukrainians.
On Monday, the Inspectorates for Justice and Security and Healthcare and Youth sent a scathing letter to State Secretary Van der Burg saying that the Netherlands is failing the children and teenagers in asylum shelters. They face stress and violence and don’t have proper access to education and care.
The Inspectorates fail to understand that facilities for Ukrainians seem to be arranged better, and not all those places are even used. They pointed out that discrimination is illegal under the Convention of the Rights of the Child.