Migration Minister favours resettlement in Europe

5th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

The ministers wanted to see for themselves which people should qualify for a new life in Europe.

The Belgian Migration Minister Annemie Turtelboom (Flemish liberal) has visited a Kenyan refugee camp together with her Dutch counterpart. The ministers wanted to see for themselves which people should qualify for a new life in Europe.

The Kakuma refugee camp is located in northern Kenya tucked up against the border with Sudan and Somalia. It contains 50,000 refugees. Some have been here for 15 years. For many there is no way back and little future here.

The UN High Commission for Refugees argues that young families with children who have no other alternative should be the first to qualify for a safe haven elsewhere.

Migration Minister Turtelboom says that resettlement is the last option. Only 1% of refugees qualify. These are the refugees who have been here for ten, fifteen years, who cannot return home, who cannot integrate here.

The Migration Minister is convinced Belgium should take part in resettlement programmes, but the question remains whether a political majority for this exists in the Belgian Government.

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