UN criticises Dutch treatment of stateless people

16th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch government often refuses to recognise undocumented aliens as stateless people. As a result, they are not afforded the protection they are entitled to under international treaties.

These are the conclusions of a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHRC  published on Friday.

The Netherlands often only recognises persons as stateless when they can provide official documents as proof of their status, such as a statement from an embassy showing that they have no ties to that specific country. Most stateless people have no documents, but even when they do, this is often not considered enough.

Persons who are not recognised as stateless have no access to social services or health care and they are not allowed to work or study after they turn 18. Many of them are homeless.

The UNHCR says the Netherlands must introduce a proper, thorough procedure to determine whether someone is stateless. Applicants should receive temporary residence permits for the duration of the procedure. This way, they can stay in the Netherlands legally without being held in an aliens’ detention centre.

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© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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