We don't deport ill children - Verdonk
26 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — Children are not deported from the Netherlands in cases where this would have damaging consequences for their health. This is standard policy, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk insisted on Friday.
26 May 2006
AMSTERDAM — Children are not deported from the Netherlands in cases where this would have damaging consequences for their health. This is standard policy, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk insisted on Friday.
Verdonk's remarks were a rapid reaction to a draft code of conduct drawn up by the Dutch Association of Paediatrics (NVK).
The code says that paediatricians should lodge an objection to the deportation of a child if the expulsion would have damaging consequences for the child's health. The same applies to the transfer of a child from one asylum seekers centre to another.
The NVK's draft code makes clear doctors must always treat children who don't have the proper residence permits, regardless of whether they have health insurance or not.
The document goes further than requiring the provision of medical help alone. Paediatricians, it says, must seek the assistance of social workers or other supporting agencies if this is required for the rehabilitation of the patient. And if bureaucracy gets in the way, the doctors should complain to the minister.
Tom Hendriks, author of the code, said paediatricians are increasingly finding that the care for illegal immigrants and asylum seekers is inadequate.
Verdonk has faced a lot of criticism in recent years for her plan to expel 26,000 rejected asylum seekers.
The Liberal Party Minister caused another storm earlier this month when she cast doubt on whether Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a Dutch citizen. Somali-born Hirsi Ali resigned as a Liberal MP and announced she had accelerated her plans to move to the US.
Under pressure by the government and parliament, Verdonk has said she will do everything possible to ensure Hirsi Ali keeps her Dutch passport.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news