Churches lash 'inhumane treatment' of refugees

2nd May 2006, Comments 0 comments

2 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — Asylum seekers and refugees in the Netherlands are increasingly facing "inhumane treatment", the Dutch Council of Churches warned on Tuesday.

2 May 2006

AMSTERDAM — Asylum seekers and refugees in the Netherlands are increasingly facing "inhumane treatment", the Dutch Council of Churches warned on Tuesday.

The organisation sounded the alarm in a letter to the parliamentary commission on Justice and Alien Affairs on Tuesday. It based its stinging criticism on accounts from church members who do volunteer work with asylum seekers.

"We could perhaps suggest a few years ago that it involved isolated incidents, but now we have established that inhumane situations and reports about such things have taken on a structural character," Ineke Bakker, the general secretary of the Church Council. 

The Council expressed acute concern about putting asylum seekers with serious illnesses, including psychiatric patients, on the street, and the treatment of underage asylum seekers. Some of the children, the Council said, are locked up in deportation centres. There is also an increase in the number of children disappearing from asylum centres and reports of suicide.

The Council called for an investigation into its allegations.

A spokesperson for the Justice Ministry declined to comment in detail about the Council's charges as the individual cases mentioned have to be investigated first.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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