Belgians to protest over refugee child detention

25th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

25 January 2006, BRUSSELS – A national protest was announced on Wednesday against the keeping of refugee children in closed detention centres.

25 January 2006

BRUSSELS – A national protest was announced on Wednesday against the keeping of refugee children in closed detention centres.

Around 70 organisations said they would be present at the demonstration on 29 January in Liege.

The announcement comes after 200 people joined a demonstration in Morlanweiz on Saturday against detention centres.

On Sunday, the protesters will march from the town's citadelle to the asylum-seeker detention centre in Vottem.

They are calling for Belgian children to join the protest by pinning soft toys to the bars of the gate surrounding Vottem centre.

Organisers say it is unacceptable that a single child is held in a closed detention centre while asylum applications are processed.

According to a report in the newspaper La Libre Belgique, around 60 children are currently kept in the centres.

The organisers of Sunday's protest say they fear that that number could rise after the announcement of Interior Minister Patrick Dewael that family sections would be introduced into the Merksplas and Vottem centres.

"That leads us to think that the expulsion and detention of families with children is from now on a priority of the government," said a joint statement from organisers which include civil rights organisations, unions and the CDH and green Ecolo parties.

The protesters also think the centres are inhumane for adults, too.

[Copyright: Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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