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The deterioration of emergency asylum shelters: the Dutch ombudsman

The State Ombudsman and Children’s Ombudsman argued that crisis shelters for asylum seekers in the Netherlands were of poor quality. That’s what they said in an investigative report, “The Crisis Is Over,” released Tuesday. Various other organizations, including the Red Cross, have recently published reports with the same conclusions.

Two ombudsmen say crisis shelters for asylum seekers are not being used as intended. Marguerite Calverbohr and Reynier van Zutphen said that thousands of asylum seekers are currently staying in these places for months, but they are intended for short-term reception in an emergency. and therefore allowed to meet lower quality standards. “We have to drop the word crisis. Sometimes in temporary circumstances we can change what we deem acceptable. But we are over the crisis and this is unacceptable,” said the state. Ombudsman Van Zutphen said.

In their report, Kalverbohr and Van Zutphen make several recommendations for local governments and security areas to organize emergency shelters on behalf of the government. Asylum seekers in emergency shelters should be provided with better housing with more privacy, as well as education and “meaningful daytime activities”. The ombudsman said the government should also: Stop family members from moving from shelter to shelter and put the interests of the child first. Children’s Ombudsman Culver-Bohr: “The impact on children’s lives is so great that their interests are of minor importance.”

Eric van der Burg, the Secretary of State (in exile), said a few days ago that crisis shelters in the Netherlands must certainly be improved. Responding to reports from the Red Cross, Doctors of the World and the Center for Expertise Pharos, he said: Claims to make asylum seekers sick. Parliament’s standing judicial security committee is scheduled to discuss asylum policy on Wednesday. Emergency shelters in times of crisis are also on the agenda.

https://nltimes.nl/2023/06/27/emergency-asylum-shelter-degrading-dutch-ombudsmen The deterioration of emergency asylum shelters: the Dutch ombudsman

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