Dutch News

23 May 2014

Today Nils Muiznieks, the commissioner for human rights form the Board of Europe, stated to Dutch media that locking up asylum seekers in jails in the Netherlands is violating human rights. Especially the detention of children is worrisome and goes against the dignity and ignores the children’s vulnerability.

Muiznieks: ‘locking up asylum seekers is really the last remedy. Children should never be detained. Not in a jail and not in a detention centre for migrants’. The human right commissioner is also very critical about the way the Dutch handle refugees exhausted of all legal procedures, that sometimes are turned out into the street without any food and funding. Muiznieks: ‘This cannot continue, their life is a misery’.


The commissioner visited the refugee detention centre on the Amsterdam airport Schphol, where he met 14 year old girl from Syria. He also visited a church in the Hague where refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan have found temporary shelter. He was also critical about the actual general pardon for children in the Netherlands: ‘I do not understand why the asylum seekers status of well integrated children is disputed’. Nils Muiznieks hopes that the Dutch will be flexible giving pardon to all these refugee children, that often are born in the Netherlands, go to school and speak fluent Dutch.


The Dutch were one of the founding fathers of the Board of Europe, that guards democracy and human rights. Lately there is quite some international critics on the asylum seekers and migration policy in the Netherlands. Muiznieks: ‘The Netherlands plays internationally an important role in fighting for human rights. The Dutch also have to do good within their own borders’.  





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