A massive 97 percent of Vietnamese children taken in by the protected asylum shelter in the Netherlands have disappeared, according to the National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence against Children. "The suspicion that a large proportion of these children fall into the hands of human traffickers or people smugglers have been confirmed." The Netherlands must do something, Rapporteur Herman Bolhaar said, NU.nl reports.
Another 534 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with coronavirus since Thursday, which took the country's total number of infected people to 2,994. Thirty of those patients died since Thursday, meaning that 106 people with coronavirus have died in the Netherlands, public health agency RIVM said on Friday.
Asylum seekers who have to wait a long time for their asylum application process to start must be given better facilities and more privacy, National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen said in a letter to State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security, who is responsible for asylum, NOS reports.
Until immigration and naturalization service IND starts processing an asylum application, the asylum seeker in question cannot stay in one of the regular shelters. Instead they are accommodated in temporary reception location with much less facilities and privacy.
The Dutch government has known since 2015 that Vietnamese children are disappearing from asylum shelters in the Netherlands - agencies involved in the care of unaccompanied child asylum seekers have regularly reported signals of human trafficking and people smuggling over the past five years, investigative journalism program Argos reported based on quarterly reports from the protected reception locations Jade and Xonar.
The Netherlands' immigration and naturalization service IND will have to pay 70 million euros to asylum seekers this year because their asylum processes took too long, NRC reports based on an internal memo from the Ministry of Justice and Security. This is much higher than the 17 million euros in penalty payments State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol estimated last year.
The relationship between the Netherlands and Morocco must improve, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Friday, after the Moroccan ambassador to the Netherlands canceled a meeting with State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security at the last minute on Thursday. The canceled meeting emphasizes the importance of improving the two countries' relationship, Blok said, De Gelderlander reports.
Mayor Femke Halsema will intervene on the behalf of Daniel Buter, a 19-year-old born in Amsterdam who is currently in custody in Rotterdam, facing deportation to the Dominican Republic. She already contacted State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice in Security, who is in charge of Asylum. The mayor will also look into whether other Amsterdam residents is facing the same situation as Buter, she said to the city council on Thursday, Het Parool reports.
State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security is struggling to talk to Morocco about taking back Moroccan nationals whose asylum application in the Netherlands had failed. She wanted to visit the country to discuss this matter, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed her that she "would not speak to the right people", she said to parliament on Thursday, NOS reports.
From next year the Eurostar train will run directly between London and Amsterdam and Rotterdam, instead of the current arrangement in which travelers leaving the Netherlands have to change trains and go through passport checks in Brussels.
Five persons recently officially regained their Dutch nationality, according to a decision published in the Staatscourant on Monday. These persons' Dutch nationality was previously revoked because they joined terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq, NOS reports.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Security could not confirm to NU.nl that the five persons involved are or were indeed jihadists.
After several rounds of voting, senators in the Netherlands selected Professor Jan Anthonie Bruijn as the new chairperson of the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament. The 61-year-old professor of immunopathology at Leiden University has been involved in politics as a VVD member since 1989 when he first became a local VVD board member in hometown of Wassenaar, Zuid-Holland.
Bruijn takes the reins from VVD politican Ankie Broekers-Knol. She was tapped as justice and security secretary last month.
The central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA wants to spread asylum centers more evenly across the Netherlands, which means that new asylum centers will mainly have to open in the west of the country, Milo Schoenmaker, chairman of the COA board, said in an interview with newspaper AD.
Members of the Eerste- and Tweede Kamer, the Dutch Senate and lower house of parliament, commemorated the victims of World War II who fell in the former Dutch East Indies. On Tuesday Kamer presidents Ankie Broekers-Knol and Kahdija Arib laid a wreath at the plaque for the victims in the Tweede Kamer building, ANP reports.
The Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, wants clarification from Prime Minister Mark Rutte about his plan to put two ministers at the head of the same ministry in the Rutte III government. In a letter on Wednesday, Senate President Ankie Broekers-Knol (VVD) wrote that appointing more than one person as head of a Ministry is against the Constitution, ANP reports.
Lower house of parliament president Khadija Arib refused to cooperate in the wish of two of King Willem-Alexander's influential advisors to give the King more influence in the formation of the new cabinet, the Volkskrant reports.
Up until 2012 the ruling Dutch monarch played an active role in the formation of a new cabinet. The King or Queen could, for example, assign a "scout" to examine coalition possibilities and appoint informers. After a majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, changed the rules in 2012, the Kamer itself performs these tasks.
King Willem-Alexander emphasized the importance of cooperating with NATO, the United Nations and Europe in his traditional New Year's speech on Tuesday. According to him, "a highly developed country like the Netherlands can not be indifferent to developments in the wider world", AD reports.
Peace, freedom, stability and prosperity don't just happen, the King said. "Without our international partners it is simply impossible. It is therefore good if our voice continues to be heard in Europe, the UN, NATO and everywhere people think past their borders."
Prime Minister Mark Rutte will be giving a speech on Friday at the special joint assembly of the Dutch Senate and lower house of parliament in The Hague. This special meeting was arranged as part of the celebrations to celebrate parliament's 200th anniversary.
Further changes to the new healthcare law proposal by Dutch health minister Edith Schippers (VVD) drew doubts and opposition after Parliament heard the amended plan on Wednesday.
New legislation that would put a restrictive cap on the amount of cash bankers may collect in bonuses missed its proposed January 1 start date when last minute questions were asked by senators of coalition leader VVD. The law was previously lauded by coalition partner PvdA, the Dutch labour party, which has been at odds with the VVD after a health care bill failed to pass a Senate vote.
Ankie Broekers-Knol, the chairman of the First Chamber, denounced the intention of the Cabinet to guide the Healtcare Act of Minister Edith Schippers (Public Health) through the Senate via a side road. She finds it contrary to the Constitution and that it undermines the parliamentary system. The chairman expressed her criticism in the radio program De Ochtend.
Ankie Broekers-Knol (VVD) is the successor to Fred de Graaf as chairman of the Senate. There was a third round of voting necessary, but it Broekers stayed ahead of Hans Franken (CDA). The other candidates for the position were Guusje ter Horst (PvdA) and Marijke Linthorst (PvdA).