The Hague to press uncooperative countries

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The Dutch government is to increase pressure on developing countries which refuse to accept the repatriation of their citizens who have applied and failed to gain asylum in the Netherlands.

Nine million euros is available each year to help developing countries with migration policy and development. A condition for the aid is that the countries “cooperate constructively” with the repatriation of failed asylum seekers and illegal aliens.

Dutch ministers are now warning that countries which fail to do this may jeopardise their development cooperation relationship with the Netherlands.

Failed asylum seekers who refuse to comply with their repatriation can be forcibly expelled from the Netherlands. This is often only possible if the country of origin provides replacement travel documents and this does not always happen.

Solution Deputy Foreign minister Ben Knapen points out that repatriation problems are not always the result of lack of will on the part of the foreign authorities. Often, the problems are practical and he maintains Dutch development aid can help with the solution. He gives examples of Dutch aid helping to tackle document fraud in Ghana and providing training for border police in Tanzania.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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