Record number of asylum seeker departures

10th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

10 August 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The number of rejected asylum seekers leaving the Netherlands has hit record highs this year, with 2011 having already departed compared with 2,912 for the entire 12 months of 2003.

10 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — The number of rejected asylum seekers leaving the Netherlands has hit record highs this year, with 2011 having already departed compared with 2,912 for the entire 12 months of 2003.

And a record 353 asylum seekers returned to their country of origin last month, newspaper NRC Handelsblad reported on Monday.

The director of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Albert de Dyker, said there is now a definite rising trend in the numbers of returning asylum seekers.

Angolan asylum seekers form the largest group of those voluntarily returning to their country of origin, with 216 departing from the Netherlands this year. They are followed by Serbia-Montenegro nationals (204) and Iranians (124).

Some of the asylum seekers — those who arrived before April 2001 and thus come under the old immigration law — are leaving in anticipation of the forced deportation arrangement that came into force for them from 23 June this year.

Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk plans to forcibly deport over the following three years about 26,000 asylum seekers who come under the old immigration law. About 5,000 of them have already been officially denied asylum in the Netherlands.

But those who voluntarily return to their country of origin within eight weeks of registering with the Justice Ministry will receive special funding. Since the introduction on 23 June of the forced deportation scheme, 162 asylum seekers have availed of the scheme.

That means that every asylum seeker — besides their airfare and possible compensation for the shipping of household goods — receives EUR 2,320. For a family with two children, the funding amounts to EUR 6,050.

Asylum seekers who do not come under this arrangement receive about half of that amount if they leave the Netherlands on a voluntary basis.

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) started instructing the first group of asylum seekers at the beginning of July to leave the country.

Due to the fact that the south of the Netherlands was the first region to go out on holiday this summer, the IND started by sending letters to rejected asylum seekers in the province of Limburg and Brabant instructing them to leave the country.

The foreign police, IND, municipal authorities and the central refugee authority COA — known as the local task force — have already engaged in the initial deportation talks with asylum seekers in the south of the country.

And the foreign police in the south of the country have confirmed the IOM claim that the willingness among asylum seekers to return voluntarily to their country is strengthening. This is perhaps due to the funding offered asylum seekers if they return voluntarily to their countries of origin.

Since the introduction of the new immigration law in April 2001, the number of asylum seekers entering the Netherlands has fallen significantly, much more than in other Western European nations. A total of 13,402 applied for asylum in the Netherlands last year compared with a peak of 43,560 in 2000.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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