Up until October 1st, the Dutch immigration and naturalization service IND paid over a million euros in penalty payments to asylum seekers and refugees this year due to too slow procedures. That amount is likely to quadruple by the end of this year, because thousands of claims have not yet been handled, the Volkskrant reports based on figures from the IND.
Asylum seekers living in an asylum center on Havenstraat in Amsterdam have been on a hunger strike for nearly a week. They've also been sleeping outside, in protest against the slowness of the asylum procedure and conditions in the camp.
The Heumensoord asylum camp in Nijmegen is closing early in May. All of the about 3 thousand people living in the largest asylum center in the Netherlands need to be moved elsewhere by May 2nd, the COA announced on Tuesday
Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert is very critical about the care child asylum seekers receive in the Netherlands. Especially the emergency shelters are inadequate and the long asylum procedure harms a child's well being, he writes in the 40 page report "Waiting for your future. Children in emergency shelters in the Netherlands", which was published on Thursday.
Mayors Hubert Bruls of Nijmegen and Paul Mengde of Heumen sat down with three asylum seekers living in asylum camp Heumensoord for a discussion on the situation in the camp on Monday. The mayors also think that the asylum procedure is taking too long,
Hundreds of asylum seekers are expected to march from the Heumensoord asylum camp to the Nijmegen town hall on Monday to express their discontent about conditions in the tent camp
The asylum procedure in the Netherlands can now take up to 15 months, responsible State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice said in a letter to the lower house of Dutch parliament on Wednesday. That is nine months longer than the maximum period of 6 months before an asylum seeker finds out whether he will be given refugee status, which applied up until earlier this week.
Amsterdam is taking the lead in teaching asylum seekers about gay and women's rights. The municipality does not want to wait any longer and called in professional parties to help with this education. "We expect to start in two weeks", Simone Kukenheim, alderman for Education and Diversity, said
ChristenUnie parliamentarian Joel Voordewind is calling for an end to the slow asylum procedure, that is leading to frustration, protests and even suicide in the emergency asylum shelters, AD reports.
A despairing asylum seeker set himself on fire at the Zaandam asylum shelter on Wednesday evening while shouting about his children. He was saved from life-threatening injury by other residents of the camp in the Burgemeester in't Veldpark
An increasing number of asylum seekers are leaving the Netherlands voluntarily because they are discouraged by the Dutch asylum procedure, according the International Organization for Migration, the nongovernmental organizations that helps migrants with their voluntary return. "Under the current high influx of asylum seekers, there are many who choose for voluntary return relatively soon after arrival", a spokesperson said to the Volkskrant. "They get discouraged because it takes a long time to gain asylum and to have their family come over."
The long drawn-out asylum procedure before asylum seekers find out whether they qualify for refugee status and a residency permit, put them at a disadvantage and threatens to turn them into an impoverished underclass dominated by unemployment and crime, warn the Justice Ministry's Research and Documentation center, the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau and the Scientific Council for Government Policy
Some one hundred asylum seekers protested in Nijmegen on Thursday against the poor living conditions in the Heumensoord tent camp shelter
Amsterdam councilor Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius thinks that asylum seekers who threaten or discriminate against fellow refugees because of their sexual orientation, should be deported immediately
Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice is concerned that frustrations among asylum seekers could lead to radicalization. The terrorism-threat level for the Netherlands has not changed in the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security's latest assessment. The possibility exists that individuals with ill intentions may try to enter the country among refugees, though no such case has been found yet.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service should be strengthened and expanded in order to be able to deal with the ever increasing number of refugees arriving in the Netherlands.