Red Cross: "Belgium not complying with its own laws"

16th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian Red Cross has written an open letter in which it slates Belgian Government asylum policy.

The Red Cross is livid about the latest developments. Earlier this week the Belgian Social Integration Minister Marie Arena (Francophone Socialist) set a limit on the number of asylum seekers that can be put up in a hotel by Fedasil, the government agency that is responsible for providing accommodation for asylum seekers.

As the 700 hotel beds are taken, Ms Arena insisted that only asylum seekers who take the matter to court should be helped in this manner.

The Red Cross believes this is unacceptable.

Last week the Red Cross also had to set up a tent camp to accommodate new asylum seekers because Fedasil had closed its offices in protest against a situation in which it could no longer cope.

The Red Cross now says that it is difficult to continue to provide such emergency humanitarian help.

The organisation notes that it can only provide assistance if certain conditions are met: "Belgium must comply with international rules and its own laws. In Belgium this means providing asylum seekers with material support guaranteed by the law."

On Friday the Belgian Government meets to agree a new asylum policy. 

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