Municipalities may be forced to create shelters for asylum seekers
The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) may need to coerce municipalities to create shelters for refugees, according to the NOS. The process to cooperate with municipalities is taking too long, and meanwhile asylum seekers are sleeping without beds at reception centers, board member Joeri Kapteijns told Nieuwsuur.
"A number of municipalities are cooperating, but a large number of municipalities are not. We need an agreement from municipalities, because it is acute," Kapteijns said of the process to secure the reception of asylum seekers.
In the past few months, some people seeking asylum in the Netherlands have had to sleep on chairs at the overcrowded and understaffed Ter Apel reception center. The Red Cross condemned the conditions at Ter Apel as "degrading" and "inhumane."
During the Nieuwsuur interview, Kapteijns referred to the struggles at the reception center. "It's a real crisis. You see that in Ter Apel. It has a huge impact on the asylum seekers there, and also on our employees. We cannot sustain that."
Kapteijns outlined a plan to create permanent shelter locations across the Netherlands that would never be closed. When their full capacity was not needed, these locations could be used for other purposes, such as housing students, according to the NOS.