Just 1,669 illegal workers arrested last year
13 December 2005, BRUSSELS — The social inspection services arrested just 1,669 illegal immigrants in the workplace last year, a surprisingly small amount compared with the estimated number of illegal workers in Belgium.
13 December 2005
BRUSSELS — The social inspection services arrested just 1,669 illegal immigrants in the workplace last year, a surprisingly small amount compared with the estimated number of illegal workers in Belgium.
Studies indicate a large number of illegal immigrants are working in Belgium. The building industry association Bouwunie has estimated there were 80,000 to 135,000 illegal workers in Belgium in 2001.
However, the confirmed figure of 1,669 arrests was included in the first annual report that Belgium's inspection services drew up. That report was also the first time the three inspection services jointly compiled figures.
Federal Employment Minister Peter Vanvelthoven will unveil the official report later this week. In doing so, the federal committee that co-ordinates the fight against illegal workers and social fraud will base its report on the findings of its own inspection services.
Police reports are not included because they only register illegal residence, not what the illegal immigrant was doing at the time of their arrest. The definitions of illegal or 'black' work and fraud also differ, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, the 2004 report is designed to shed light in problem amid the current lack of figures about illegal work in Belgium. No one appears to have a rough estimate based on research.
In future, a new report will be drawn up each year so that all of the figures over illegal work can be entered into a central database. This can then form the basis of specific analyses.
However, the databank must first become operational and the data will then need to be added to the system.
In the meantime, the figures from the 2004 report will be used in coming months for targeted raids against illegal workers, some of which will be co-ordinated at a national level.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news