Alternatives for detention of refugee minors
7 June 2006, BRUSSELS — Interior Minister Patrick Dewael is prepared to examine alternatives to the current practice of housing asylum seeker youths in refugee detention centres.
7 June 2006
BRUSSELS — Interior Minister Patrick Dewael is prepared to examine alternatives to the current practice of housing asylum seeker youths in refugee detention centres.
The Liberal VLD minister made the promise during a public hearing on reforms to Belgium's asylum policies and the Council of State.
Dewael referred to a proposal from Socialist SP.A MP Dalila Douifi to commission a university or research centre to investigate whether there are alternatives to the detention of asylum seeker minors.
He said it was a "good proposal", but warned that it has been debated at length in the past without an alternative being put forward. He said a decision had been made in the past aimed at improving conditions in refugee detention centres.
Dewael also accepted comments from the Council of State auditor-general that even with six extra auditors, it will take 15 years before the backlog in cases will be processed.
He urged prior to the hearing about the proposed legislative changes to Belgium's asylum laws for greater resources in clearing the backlog, news agency Belga reported.
The new legislation aims to lighten the Council of State's work load by establishing the Council of Foreigners Disputes.
Immigration dossiers take up two-thirds of the Council of State's workload and are the basis of the backlog. In future, the council will only impose rulings on possible procedural errors.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news