Jos Wienen, chairman of the committee of asylum of the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG), has recently declared that municipalities intend on organizing shelters for unsuccessful asylum seekers.
This decision came just after the European Committee of Social Rights ("ECSR") ruled on the Netherlands' failure to comply with its obligations in respect of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants.
In 2013, following a complaint submitted by the Conference of European Churches, the ECSR invited the Netherlands to take the following immediate measure, in accordance with Rule 36 (Rules of the Committee):
"Adopt all possible measures with a view to avoiding serious, irreparable injury to the integrity of persons at immediate risk of destitution, through the implementation of a co-ordinated approach at national and municipal levels with a view to ensuring that their basic needs (shelter, clothes and food) are met; (...)".
In an article published in July 2014, the NGO Human Rights Watch described how unsuccessful asylum seekers, mostly from the African continent, lived in an abandoned multi-story indoor parking, the "refugee garage", in the outskirts of Amsterdam. These people, who obviously could not return to their countries of origin, were living in appalling conditions.
Forced destitution, this situation where failed asylum seekers are "forced to survive far below the poverty line", is widespread in Europe and does not only concern unsuccessful asylum seekers5.
Posted by Flavie Fuentes