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Policy of return for failed asylum seekers in the Netherlands

plenary session 26 January 2006

 Document 10741

The policy of the Dutch right-wing government of return for failed asylumseekers was a headline in  the international media, two years ago. The image of the Netherlands as a tolerant country was widespread and wellknown, but was damaged seriously by this policy. Through the ages Holland was a safe place for refugees of all kinds, colours and nations. In a few years this Dutch government succeeded in closing down the curtain. The number of asylum-seekers as well as the number of the ones who were recognized dropped dramatically.

This saddest thing of this policy is that it is a token. This government wants  to prove that itís tough on the integration-issue. That they think to have an answer to that xenofoob part of the Dutch population who think that there are to much foreigners Ė mostly with a dark skin- in the Netherland. And the saddest thing is that the targets of this policy are the most weak and deseprate people in this world: asylumseekers. 

I make my compliments to mrs. Zapfl-Helbling, who wrote a balanced, but also critical report about the asylum policy of this Dutch government.

When the Dutch government takes this report and the resolution seriously, things can go better.

Then there are no longer asylumseekers send away when they live for years in the Netherlands.

Then there are no longer asylumseekers send away who have children who were born in the Netherlands.

Then there are no longer asylumseekers send away who are ill.

Then there are no longer asylumseekers send away to their country of origin where the situation is dangerous.

Then itís not longer necessary what the last weeks happened in the Netherlands. That a leader of student-protest from Iran should be send back, because Iran was a safe place in the eyes of the Dutch government. Iran where since the new president is in power more than 120 people are executed. The asylumseeker from Iran went on a hungerstrike for 56 days. His action was supported by many civil groups. And at last, at last , just 5 days ago, there seems to be a change by the Dutch authorities and it seems in his case that justice will be done.

Letís hope that in the future, as a result of this report, hungerstrikes are not longer necessary to convince the Dutch government that a human approach is desirable.