Cabinet appeals refugee ruling, says nine months not enough

Refugee center in Amsterdam.Photo: Lauren Comiteau

The Cabinet plans to appeal last week’s court ruling ordering the government to arrange suitable accommodation for all asylum seekers within nine months.

A court in The Hague has ruled that all refugees have the right to “at least four square meters of space, doors that can be locked and windows that can be opened”, adequate food and drink. Water and clean sanitation.

Refugee support group Vluchtelingenwerk brought a case During the summer months, up to 700 people were bedridden on the lawn outside the Ter Apel reception center overnight due to chronic overcrowding.

However, Undersecretary of Attorney Eric van der Berg said the deadline was too tight to make proper adjustments within nine months.

“We are doing everything we can to improve our refugee policy, but we rely on local governments before we can do anything,” he said.

On Friday, van der Berg made yet another appeal to local councils to increase accommodation for asylum seekers, especially unaccompanied minors. The minister repeatedly called on local authorities to provide housing, but to little effect.

Despite the crisis, the number of beds for asylum seekers is actually down by about 1,250, van der Berg said last weekend.

The minister is working on a law that would guarantee that all local governments provide housing for refugees and would give them the power to compel the minister to do so.

The majority of local governments in the Netherlands are not provided long term Accommodation for refugees of the last decade, it appeared last month.

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