Asylum seekers still at risk

27th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 February 2007, AMSTERDAM – Asylum seekers who have been refused asylum are still put at risk because of how the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) prepares them for deportation to their home countries. Refused asylum seekers must be presented to representatives from their countries of origin to arrange for travel documents for their return.

27 February 2007

AMSTERDAM – Asylum seekers who have been refused asylum are still put at risk because of how the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) prepares them for deportation to their home countries. Refused asylum seekers must be presented to representatives from their countries of origin to arrange for travel documents for their return.

The refused asylum seekers are not told what information has been given to their home countries and are therefore uncertain in answering questions from these authorities. As a result they do not know what risks might await them upon their return. This emerged from a report presented by the National Ombudsman, Alex Brenninkmeijer, today.

Brenninkmeijer’s study does not indicate that former asylum seekers are in danger because any explicitly asylum-related information is given out during the presentation. But the study does show that the way in which the presentations are held can provoke feelings of fear and insecurity.

The procedure is simply not transparent enough and as a result the significance of questions posed during the presentation is not clear. The Ombudsman also found that some of the meetings are held without the presence of Dutch officials. Sometimes when Dutch officials are present they are unable to follow what is being said because the language of the asylum seeker’s home country is used.

He advised that a Dutch official should always be present, and if necessary an interpreter. Brenninkmeijer also proposed that the refused asylum seekers be given a better idea of what awaits them.

The Ombudsman started the study in response to four individual complaints and a request from the Dutch Council for Refugees.

The study focussed on the how asylum seekers from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Syria were presented to representatives from their home countries before deportation and what the IND told the asylum seekers about these presentations.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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