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European Master's programme in HUMANITARIAN ACTION

University of Groningen

"Refugees: victims of politics in home and host country"

Dutch Asylum Policy: From Declining Humanitarianism to Human Rights Violations. "What has been the changing attitude towards reception of refugees in The Netherlands, and to what extent is the general political turbulence in the 1990's responsible for these changes?"

Jean Marie Prosper Ndayiragije

December 2007

Table of Content Table of Content........................................................................................................................2 Preface........................................................................................................................................4 1. INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................6

1.1. Methodology........................................................................................................ 7 1.2. Terminology ........................................................................................................ 8

2. CHAPTER 1:..........................................................................................................................9 The reception of refugees in the Netherlands ...............................................................................9

2.1. Introduction ......................................................................................................... 9 2.2. The organization and process of refugees' reception in The Netherlands .............. 9 2.3. Main Actors ....................................................................................................... 11 2.4. Refugees in the Netherlands and the framework of Comprehensive security....... 12 2.4.1. Comprehensive security............................................................................... 12 2.4.2 Legal Security .............................................................................................. 13 2.4.3. Health security and asylum seekers in the Netherlands ................................ 16 2.4.4. Social Security ............................................................................................ 18 2.4.5. Economic Security ...................................................................................... 19 2.4.6. Political Security ......................................................................................... 20 2.5. Conclusion ......................................................................................................... 23

3. CHAPTER 2 ......................................................................................................................... 24 Asylum and Dutch politics ........................................................................................................ 24

3.1. Introduction ....................................................................................................... 24 3.2. The asylum issue in Dutch politics ..................................................................... 24 3.3. Declining Humanitarianism................................................................................ 28 3.4. Human right abuses............................................................................................ 31 3.5. Standing position of Dutch Political Parties on asylum policy ............................ 36 3.5.1. CDA............................................................................................................ 36 3.5.2. PVDA ......................................................................................................... 36 3.5.3. The Socialist Party (SP)............................................................................... 36 3.5.4. VVD ........................................................................................................... 37 3.5.5. PVV ............................................................................................................ 38 3.5.6. The Green Left (GroenLinks) ...................................................................... 39 2

3.5.7. Christian Union ........................................................................................... 39 3.5.8. D66 ............................................................................................................. 40 3.6. Conclusion ......................................................................................................... 40

4. CHAPTER 3 ......................................................................................................................... 42 Conclusion................................................................................................................................ 42

4.1. Conclusion ......................................................................................................... 42

5. REFERNCES........................................................................................................................ 45 6. LIST OF ABREVIATION .................................................................................................... 50


Preface Migration has been a continuous and natural movement in the world history. However, while some people chose voluntarily to move to another country or region, others are forced to move mainly by wars, dictatorship, human rights violations (torture, imprisonments,...) or hunger. While the nature and the motives of these "moving" people are different, they are often perceived and politically labeled as a homogeneous group in their host country. On the other hand there is a growing anti-immigration sentiment within the European public opinion, a sentiment that can be exploited by populists and opportunists politicians to attract voters. Such a political exploitation leads to a politicization of asylum policies on the costs of refugees' protection. Nowadays, thousands of millions of people are living as refugees outside their countries while more countries are becoming more reluctant to protect them by hardening their admission and reception policy. Such an attitude if taken by European countries in general and the Netherlands in particular has huge consequences for refugees and human rights in protection in the whole world. Historically, the Netherlands has played a very important role within the international community in human rights protection issues. However, the Dutch asylum policy has been recently a subject of concerns among human rights defenders. This research on the effect of politics on refugee's reception has been motivated by growing tendency of Dutch politicians to use immigration issues including asylum policy as an electoral weapon. With this attitude the priority in asylum policy has been shifted from the responsibility of protection to winning votes. It is "interesting" to see how lives of thousands human beings are `played' with by these political games. A recent example is the situation of the so called "26000 asylum seekers under the old aliens' act". The lives of this people who asked asylum before the new aliens act 2000 has depended much on political games while most of them were still waiting for a decision on their applications for many years. Under the government Balkenende II, these asylum seekers were living under fear and treat of being deported. The government had designed a 3 years repatriation (called by some "deportation") progamme. Their lives have radically been changed by the election of November 2006 when the "winners" decided to grant residence permits to this group.


With this research I want to make my contribution to the discussion about the responsibility to protect which on my point of view should be the fundamental basis of any asylum policy. I am extremely grateful to the support I have got from the lecturers of the NOHA programme, politicians, refugees and refugees' organizations. I specially thank Dr Joost Herman who supervised me with this research. I greatly appreciate his support and contribution. I am also thankful to all those individuals who provided me with useful information through interviews.



All over the world, large groups of people flee their homelands for fear of persecution. They are discriminated, threatened, tortured and fear imprisonment. Their lives are at risk. Every year, a small number of them come to the Netherlands to seek for asylum. Historically, the Netherlands has been a country of immigration for a long time until about the late 18th century (1550-1800). Since 1800 until the 1960s, the Netherlands developed into a country of emigration (IMISCOE, 2005).After WW II, the Netherlands faced considerable levels of immigration of diverse origin: from its former colonies, labor migration and more recently asylum migration. Externally, The Netherlands has been known for centuries as a leading country in the promotion for human right and humanitarianism. The country has been playing a very important role in advocating for and drafting treaties and conventions. But since recently, this humanitarian tradition seems to be declining within its own border. While in the beginning of the 19th century the "alien problem" appears to be marginal, in the beginning of the 20th century restrictive aliens' policies were not only formulated but also enforced (Leenders, 1993). And although interest organisations and the UNHCR urged constantly for more generous admission policies, the integration opportunities were always used as an argument to urge for restrictive policies (Doesschate, 1993). How come the Netherlands, a country known for its worldwide promotion of human value turns to be a subject of a lot of criticism from human rights organization and institution such as Human Right Watch, Amnesty International and the European Court of Human Rights, for abuses on Asylum seekers? What changed and why the Netherlands is not respecting on its own territory those treaties and conventions it cherished and promoted so proudly abroad? What are the causes of this serious departure from the country's historic role as a leader in human rights protection in Europe? This study will analyze the attitude of reception of refugees in the Netherlands, how it has been changing from a "protective" to a "repressive" approach. The study analyses the link between the changing attitude in reception of refugees and the internal political climate. The research question is therefore "what has been the changing attitude towards reception of refugees in The Netherlands, and to what extent is the general political turbulence in the 1990's responsible for these change?"


The reception attitude has been changing a lot during the last 20 years through introduction of new regulations and reception practices. The main focus of this study is the analysis of how the internal political debate has influenced these attitudes and practices. Therefore, the following sub-questions need to be answered by this research: · · · How is the reception of refugees organized and who are the main actors in the reception process? How is the actual situation in comparison to the norms? What have been the changes in the reception attitude and when did they happen? How is the protection and reception of refugees' issue dealt with in political debates? What has been and what is the standing point of the different political parties and leaders on this issue? · How and to what extent have the political debates influenced the asylum policy and the reception attitude and practices? When reading this paper, the reader should keep in mind that in most studies the issue of refugees and asylum seekers has been combined with immigration in general as the politicians seem to put those different movements of people into one single issue. However, in this study, we consider these two concepts as very different from a humanitarian point of view. Refugees are considered to be a different group of "forced migrants" and are protected by the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention (1951) defines a refugee as: a person with a "wellfounded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion..."

1.1. Methodology This research analyses the situation of reception of refugees in the Netherlands and how it is influenced by internal politics. The study covers the period between 1960 to 2007 with more focus on the period 1990- 2007 as this has known the main political turbulence. The study uses secondary data and primary data as well. The political dimension of refugees' reception is analysed though political parties' ideology, parliamentary debates, politicians speeches, media and the general public opinion. Several interviews with politicians, refugees and human rights activists are also conducted to get a balanced picture of the practices of the Dutch asylum policy, and their link with internal political interests. Furthermore, the Dutch asylum policy is analyzed in the context of the


Netherlands international commitments through treaties and convention on protection of refugees and human rights.

1.2. Terminology In the Dutch asylum system, a distinction is made between "asylum seeker" and "refugee". An asylum seeker is defined as "someone who has left his country of origin for a variety of reasons and has requested asylum (protection). It has not yet been determined whether he meets the requirements for an asylum residence permit." (IND) A refugees is defined as "an asylum seeker for whom it has been determined that he has `sound reasons' to fear persecution in his country of origin because of his: race, religion, nationality, political views, or because he belongs to a certain social group" (IND). However this study does not make the distinction between the two groups as it covers the period when a person is still in the process of determining whether he is a "refugee" or not. Therefore, the terms "asylum seekers" and "refugees" are used interchangeably, as these two groups are in the same situation until a definitive determination of their legal status. Before the decision of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) to grant a refugee status, these people are all considered to be one group and in this study, they are called refugees or asylum seekers without any consideration of what their legal status will be after the end of the asylum procedure. The post- asylum procedure is beyond this study, and it is therefore not dealt with in this paper. The remainder of this paper is organized as follow: the first chapter describes the reception of refugees in the Netherlands. For this description, the comprehensive security approach is applied. However seen the specificity of this category of people studied and the special context in which they are, an extra dimension of security has been added to make this study more comprehensive. The extra dimension "legal security" seems to be very important for refugees in the Netherlands as the legal situation of a refugees is the determinant of what kind of resource are accessible for him or not. Chapter 2 deals with asylum in the national political agenda and the consequences of the politicization of the protection of refugees. In chapter 3 concludes and gives recommendations.


2. CHAPTER 1: The reception of refugees in the Netherlands

2.1. Introduction This chapter describes the reception of refugees in the Netherlands. It highlights the reception process and gives an overview of the actors involved and their respective responsibilities. The reception practices are analyzed in the context of comprehensive security. The use of this framework of comprehensive is very important for the analysis of the reception of refugees as it gives a global overview of their situation in the context of human security. In this chapter the following question are answered: · · How is the reception of refugees organized in the Netherlands and who are the main actors involved? In the context of comprehensive security, what are the norms that guide the reception practices and how is the prevailing situation in comparison to these norms? Furthermore, the chapter illustrates how and when there have been changes in the reception attitude and regulations and the link between these changes and the prevailing political climate. 2.2. The organization and process of refugees' reception in The Netherlands Before 1983 the yearly number of asylum applications in the Netherlands was low. The number of asylum application was 750 in 1981 for example and 1210 in 1982.Persons who applied for asylum were entitled to social benefits through the Social Assistance (Algemene Bijstandswet/ ABW). Housing had to be arranged by the applicants themselves, mostly with the assistance of volunteers and the nongovernmental organisation Dutch Refugee Council (Vereniging Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland /VVN). This organization (VVN) is also responsible for looking after the interests of asylum applicants and providing them with legal assistance. In 1983 and 1984, a relatively large influx of Tamil-refugees from Sri Lanka marked the beginning of centralised reception facilities for asylum applicants (INDIAC, 2005). As the number of asylum seekers kept rising (figure 1), in 1987 the central government revised the Regulation for the Reception of Asylum Applicants (Regeling Opvang Asielzoekers/ROA) under the responsibility of the ministry of Welfare, Public Health and Culture (WVC). All Dutch municipalities were to participate in the reception of asylum applicants by making available a


certain amount of houses and apartments. The number of applicants to be housed in a municipality depended on the number of inhabitants. Municipalities were also made responsible for providing benefits and services to the applicants they housed. The ministry of WVC appropriated the necessary budget. Buffer capacity was provided by four central reception facilities, run by the ministry of WVC.

Figure 2.1.: Number of asylum seekers (1975-2003) Source: Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS) (Statistics Netherlands)

The year 1994 has been a year of a lot of changes in the reception system. In 1994 the Central Reception Organisation for Asylum Applicants (Centraal Orgaan Opvang Asielzoekers/COA) was created to manage the central reception centres. Since that time, the COA is responsible for placement and reception in the central reception system, the running of the centres and the acquisition of reception locations (INDIAC, 2005). The central reception system is characterised by large scale accommodation centres. In the same year, the responsibility for the reception of asylum applicants was transferred from the ministry of WVC to the ministry of Justice. Furthermore, in the same year the IND created the so-called Application Centres (Aanmeldcentra/AC), where asylum seekers stayed first for 24 hours before being placed in central reception centres. These centres are used to facilitate a quick rejection of unfounded


applications. In June 1999, the duration of the quick assessment has been extended to 48 working hours. In order to carry out its duties, COA closely collaborates with other organisations, such as the Immigration and Naturalisation Department (IND), the Aliens Police (VP) and the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary (Koninkrijke Marechaussée) (COA, 2007). 2.3. Main Actors Nowadays, the most important actor when it comes to the reception of refugees in the Netherlands is the Minister for Aliens Affairs and Integration. This minister is politically responsible for the policies on admission, reception and expulsion of asylum seekers. This minister does not have an own ministry and is assisted by the officials of the Ministry of Justice. Following actors are also involved: · The Immigration and Naturalisation Department (IND), an agency of the Ministry of Justice, is charged with processing the applications for asylum, and with carrying out the tasks in the field of admission, supervision, and border control. · The Aliens Police (VP) is part of the police force and together with Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary responsible for the supervision over aliens. The Aliens Police also supervise the presence of asylum seekers in the Netherlands by implementing the duty to report. · The Dutch refugee council (VluchtelingenWerk Nederland/VVN) is an independent organisation funded by the Ministry of Justice and dedicated to the interests of refugees and asylum seekers. The Council's activities vary from personal support during the asylum procedure to practical coaching in building up an own life and livelihood in the Netherlands. The Refugee Council closely collaborates with the Foundation for Legal Aid in Asylum. · The Foundation for Legal Aid in Asylum (SRA) provides free legal advice and free legal representation to asylum seekers during the asylum procedure. Legal Aid is subsidised by the Ministry of Justice and collaborates with the Dutch Refugee Council, the Legal Aid Advice Centres, and the legal profession. · Municipalities provide support in establishing reception centres for asylum seekers. The municipalities have duties in the field of accommodation and integration of asylum seekers that have received a residence permit.



The Nidos Foundation is a guardianship institution for Unaccompanied Minor Asylum Seekers (AMA).The Foundation is subsidised by the Ministry of Justice. AMAs are staying at a COA reception centre or, if they are under 15 years of age, in foster families or small-scale housing units.


The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) supports people who want to return to their country or transmigrate to another country. IOM also gives guidance in family reunification. The organisation is subsidised by the Ministries of Justice and of Overseas Development, and gives, on certain conditions, financial support when a person departs.


The general public influences the politics on asylum policy and refugees reception through action groups, self organization or on individual basis.

2.4. Refugees in the Netherlands and the framework of Comprehensive security 2.4.1. Comprehensive security At the beginning, security has been considered as solely being "physical security". Security was considered to be the same as just as the absence of war. Therefore the main focus was on national/state, border and collective security. However, nowadays, there has been a change that departed from this "old-fashioned" concept of security. The United Nations Development program initiated a concept that base security on "Human Security" instead of state security. The notion of "comprehensive security" combines an understanding of state, human and environmental security and is necessary for lasting human security and should be linked to the more humanistic forms of sustainable development (Dana, Sanjeev and William, 2002). This new developed concept places "the human" in the centre of defining security and it include food security, medical security and environmental security among others. It is thus a concept that is more focusing on the human well being rather than international peace and security or territorial integrity. Seen the specificity of this category of people studied and the special context in which they are, an extra dimension of security has been added to make this study more comprehensive. In the following part of this study, the situation of refugees in the Netherlands is analysed in the framework of comprehensive security. In this study the normative approach (topdown approach) is dominant as we analyse the situation in relation to existing norms.


2.4.2 Legal Security The Norm The life of a refugee, the access to available resources in the Netherlands is much dependant on lot legislations around the asylum policy. In general, the 1951 United Nations Geneva Convention on refugees is the basis for the Dutch refugee policy (IND, 2004). This Convention stipulates when an asylum seeker is entitled to be recognised as a refugee and it is considered as the norm that has to be observed and integrated in the national regulations. Internationally, the refugee protection is also backed by European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the Netherlands ratified in 1995, the Dublin Convention, which has been in force in the Netherlands since September 1997 and The Schengen Implementation Agreement, which has been in force in the Netherlands since March 1995. And in addition to the Netherlands' obligations under the Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, it is required to uphold the E.U. Council Directive laying down minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers in Member States, formally adopted by the Council of Ministers in January 2003 (Council Directive, 2003) The Netherlands has an obligation under article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights to recognize "the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing" (ICESCR, art. 11). The Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (CESCR) has clearly asserted that no group may be denied the core content of this right: The right to adequate housing applies to everyone regardless of age, economic status, group or other affiliation or status and other such factors (HRI, 2001). The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), establishes that every child is entitled to special care and protection and that the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in all actions and administrative decisions affecting the child. States have a positive obligation to protect all children within their jurisdiction against abuse, neglect, and exploitation and to ensure that children enjoy an adequate standard of living for their physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development. States may not discriminate in the provision of the Convention's rights and protections and must take all appropriate measures to ensure that children are protected from discrimination based, among other things, on the immigration status of the child's parents, legal guardians, or family members


At the national level, the asylum issues are regulated nowadays by the Aliens Act 2000. In this study we consider these national regulations as "sub-norms" in the sense that although they take the general norm as basis; these regulations sometimes deviate from the originally intended purpose. It is also important to notice that the reception procedure is not itself included in the Dutch Aliens Act, but is treated as a guideline by the law which regulates the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA). The absence of a basis in national legislation makes it easier to modify the reception procedure and the rights of persons undergoing it (ERF, 2004) In 2000, as the Netherlands were confronted with a consistently high influx of applicants and as individual asylum procedures often dragged on for many years, the previous Aliens Act dating back to 1994 was replaced by a new act, the Aliens Act 2000. This new acts went into force on 1 April 2001. The main goals of this new legislation are to shorten and streamline the asylum procedure which in the years prior to 2001 had proven to be inadequate (IND, 2004). With the Aliens Act 2000 which had been enacted in 2001, the Netherlands revised their laws on asylum and immigration in a more efficient but also in a more strict way. Within this new law the Netherlands not only increased deportation efforts and set tougher requirements for asylum seeker to get a successful admission but it also led to lower chances of integration (HRW, 2003). The new asylum law led to high disadvantages in housing and property conditions among refugees and asylum seekers during and after their rejection as well as during their application (HRW, 2003). The most important changes of the new Aliens Act are: the introduction of one permit for a fixed period, the abolition of the objection stage; the introduction of an appeal to the Council of State (Raad van State); and the introduction of a more comprehensive rejection of the application also stipulating that no further reception shall be provided and that the rejected asylum seeker must leave the Netherlands (IND, 2004).

The asylum Procedure The IND is the organ responsible for the processing and assessment of all applications for asylum and for the return of aliens who are no longer allowed to remain in the Netherlands.


At arrival into The Netherlands, an asylum application has to be submitted at an application centre (AC); where the initial assessment of the application takes place. In the Netherlands there are two application centres: AC Ter Apel and AC Schiphol Airport. The procedure in the application centre (AC procedure) takes a maximum of 48 working hours (IND, 2004).The AC procedure starts by investigating an asylum seeker's identity, nationality and travel itinerary in a first interview. After the first interview, the IND decides whether the asylum application can be processed further at the application centre. If the application merits further processing, the asylum seeker will be interviewed further at the application centre. During this more detailed interview the applicant has to explain why he applied for asylum. If the IND decides that more time is needed to decide on an asylum request, the asylum seeker is referred by the application centre to an IND screening office where the asylum procedure continues. In such cases he stays at a reception centre run by the Central Reception Organisation for Asylum Seekers (COA) while waiting for a detailed interview in which the applicant explains why he applied for asylum. After the detailed interview has been completed, the asylum seeker waits for the decision on his asylum application in the reception centre. The IND assesses asylum requests on the basis of the Aliens Act. In general, an alien qualifies for an asylum residence permit (IND, 2004): · · · · if he fears persecution because of his race, religion, nationality, political convictions or because he belongs to a specific social group in his country of origin if he runs the risk of being subjected to inhumane treatment (such as torture) in his country of origin if he has suffered specific, traumatic experiences in his country of origin if the Minister for Alien Affairs and Integration believes that the situation in a person's country of origin is not safe enough for him to be repatriated An asylum permit is granted if one of the grounds for protection, laid down in the Aliens Act 2000, applies: 1951 Geneva Convention, inhuman or degrading treatment, humanitarian grounds or generalized harm due to war or large-scale human rights violations. These grounds are considered in the just mention order (ECRE, 2003). The permit can be revoked during five years after it is issued, if the circumstances for granting the status have ceased to exist. After this five-year period, the revocable permit can become permanent, upon application, provided that no cessation ground applies (ECRE, 2003). The duration of the asylum procedure varies a lot. There are number of cases where a refugee status is granted after more than 10 years. For the applications filed in 2004 over 40 percent of the first decisions were taken within 48 working hours; the average time needed to take a first decision on applications was 22 weeks in


2004. The applications that were not yet decided on in 2004 on average had been in stock for 36 weeks (Minister for Integration and Immigration, 2005)

2.4.3. Health security and asylum seekers in the Netherlands In this study, health is defined as ".... a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." (WHO) Health care for asylum applicants in the Netherlands is regulated by COA (Central Organ Asylum seekers) trough the foundations for Community Health Services for Asylum Applicants (Medische Opvang Asielzoekers/MOA). It does not differ much from the health care provided to any resident of the Netherlands (INDIAC, 2005). The Regional Community Health Services (Gemeentelijke Gezondheidsdienst/GGD) play an important part in the health care for asylum applicants at the accommodation centres of COA. One of the basic tasks of the GGDs is collective preventive care, such as providing health information, youth health care, infectious diseases control and periodic sanitary inspections (INDIAC, 2005). However Dutch political attitudes towards immigrant in general and asylum seekers in particular are becoming harsher. Decreased asylum application, cutbacks and economies are putting pressure on aid and services to this group (Tuk, 2004). All asylum applicants under the care of the COA have health insurance through a contract COA entered into with a health insurer (VGZ/ZRA). This health insurance does not cover however the IVF-treatment, anti conception pills, costs of psychological care, screening and periodical medical control (ZRA, 2004) and Asylum applicants are not allowed to take out supplementary medical insurance to cover extra costs Every asylum applicant has to undergo a screening for lung tuberculosis. The screening is usually performed within one week after arrival, by a mobile X-ray unit. Also, each asylum applicant is offered an individual consult with a MOA-nurse within six weeks of arriving in the Netherlands. During this encounter an assessment is made of the applicant's health situation, using a questionnaire. Later on, during their stay in the reception centre, asylum applicants can see a MOA nurse with questions or problems concerning their health. The nurse refers them to a general practitioner if medical care is needed. The general practitioner can make further referrals, if necessary according to his professional judgment.


Applicants with behavioural and/or mental health problems can be referred to the general mental health care institutions (INDIAC, 2005). However the mental health of the adult asylum seekers is poor. One fifth suffers from anxiety disorders, a third has depressive disorders, and post traumatic disorders appear in slightly one third of asylum seekers (Laban et al., 2002). Social and health care workers and others involved with children are very concerned and are protesting against the effects of the current immigration policy (Tuk, 2004). Staff members of MOA increasingly report that the quality of health care has seriously deteriorated. As a cause they cite for example that the closure of centres and constant changes in team personnel is placing the continuity of care under pressure (Koppenaal & Van Gogh, 2004). A survey in three reception centres among 154 children aged between 4 and 12 years shows that children living there suffer from poor mental health (Sokal, 2001). The result of this survey shows that 53.9 % has mental problem, 4.5% has serious mental problem, 30.5 % has problems sleeping, 27.3 % has behavioural problems and 14.9 % wets the bed. A frequently occurring problem is hepatitis. Because 51% of adult asylum seekers have suffered such an infection and a considerable number of them remain carrier of the virus, younger children in particular run a great risk of infection. In spite of the advice of the national health council (Gezondheidsraad) to vaccinate all the children of whom at least one of the parents comes from an area where hepatitis B is endemic, this does not happen with asylum children (Tuk, 2004). Furthermore as roughly 20 000 girls are coming from countries where female circumcision is practiced, it is estimated that every year 50 girls are being circumcised (Raad voor Volksgezondheid, 2005). In tree of the asylum seekers' centres surveyed by Pharos in 2004, the quality of health care deteriorated comparing to the previous years (Pasibaru, 2004).The required standards have not been achieved. Vaccination is administered to late and medical information is inadequately recorded. 77 % of medical cards are not properly recorded (Tuk, 2004) During a 2-year study period (1998-1999) 156 asylum seekers died (of which 49 due to an unnatural cause of death and 15 due to infectious diseases). Fourteen stillbirths were registered in an index population of 37,688 in 1998 and 54,110 in 1999. The crude mortality rate was 1.95 per 1000 for male asylum seekers and 1.25 per 1000 for female asylum seekers. Compared to the Dutch standard population, the standardized mortality ratios (SMR) was 1.23 (95%-CI: 1.01-1.42) for male asylum seekers and 0.85 (0.59-1.11) for female asylum seekers. In 1998-1999, drowning, murder, manslaughter and suicide contributed significantly to an elevated


mortality rate amongst male asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Some of these unnatural deaths could be avoided by implementing preventive measures (Koppenaal, Bos and Broer, 2003).

The field of sexual and reproductive health shows lacunae. A Pharos research indicates that a very limited section of 12 to 18 years old has had adequate sex education, while a number of people are fully sexual active (Mouthaan & De Neef, 2003).Some young female asylum seekers are pregnant on arrival in the Netherlands and a number of these has been sexually abused (Tuk, 2004). It is known that unaccompanied asylum seeker minors have often undergone negative experience in their sexual development and that they form a high risk group for sexual violence. 22 percent of these have been victim of sexual violence (Rots-De Vries, 2002) Furthermore, research on safety in the centre shows that one in twenty women in an asylum seekers' centre is victim of domestic violence (Tuk, 2004)

2.4.4. Social Security When asylum seekers arrive to the Netherlands, they encounter many complicated rules and a long-winded and complex asylum procedure. Their often traumatic experiences then become a story of flight, which is assessed by personnel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). These interrogations of refugees by IND do not take into consideration possible cultural sensitivity on issues such sexual abuses, personal denunciations, etc., that the refugee might not be willing to talk about in the first instance. Asylum seekers that arrive in the Netherlands are from various countries and various different cultures. However, they all face the problem of being far from their society and their disconnection with their own social network. From the interviews I conducted with some refugees, it came out that the main cause of their social insecurity is the loss of family connection, social support and dignity. In most cases, refugees leave behind a husband, a wife, a parent, a child or all of them without any certainty that they will see them again. When they arrive in the Netherlands, refugees are accommodated in refugee's camps, where a group of people have to share a room. In most of cases, for single refugees without children, people from different culture, different religion and age and different background are put to leave together in one room. There is a lack of privacy in refugee camps, a fact that is perceived to be intolerable for people (especially women) in a number of societies. Parents are


complaining that raising children in such environment is a big challenge. Children might not respect their parents as they consider themselves dependant directly on government aid rather than on their parents. In the refugee camps, people in asylum procedure are not allowed to work; they become immobile and feel being useless. They also feel criminalized and imprisoned by the fact that they have an obligation to report weekly to the Alien Police (VP) in their place of residence (Aliens Act, 2000) There is no existence of permanent social units among refugees. Reunification of refugees with their family members is impossible during their asylum procedure. And the establishment of new social relationships is hindered by the differences in culture, languages and religion among refugees. These differences contribute to a climate of mutual mistrust. Refugees are also unable to form any political or social organization due mainly to these above mentioned obstacles and due to the fact that they are being regularly transferred from one refugee camp to another. These regular transfers destroy any newly established social relationship among refugees. Until the end of the 1990's, social activities such as sports, games, music, bus trips, museum visits, etc. were regularly organized in refugee camps; but they are nowadays inexistent or reduced to a strict minimum. The Contact with the Dutch society is reduced to a minimum and almost non-existing as most of refugee camps are located in remote area out of cities and far from residential areas. 2.4.5. Economic Security In this study, Economic security is defined as "being free from poverty" and will be assessed on a micro level. In general, refugees are most of the time people who have left their country and all their property behind. They arrive in the country of asylum without any means of living. They become the poorest of the poor as they do not have access to any resources or In the Netherlands, at arrival, people who apply for asylum are just given food as assistance. They live in closed camps (sometimes prisons) until an assessment is done to determine whether their claim for asylum is founded or not. This assessment can sometimes take several months and during all this period, asylum seekers do not have access to any financial resource. Once the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) recognizes that there is a chance that the applicant is a refugee, he/she is transferred to an open camp when he/she will continue with the asylum procedure. The duration of the asylum procedure varies too much and it can take from 6 months to more than 10 years. sustainable income anymore.


During the duration of the whole procedure, refugees are given an "income" of an amount of 40 per week and this amount had never been raised since 1997 until 2007 when the amount has been raised to 52.61 for single adults (COA, 2007). They do not have to rent their accommodation or pay energy. However with this amount their have to cover all other living costs such as: food, cloths, travelling, etc. Refugees are living in economic insecurity during their asylum procedure as they are not free from poverty. They are only allowed to work in seasonal work for 12 weeks in a year. However the application procedure for the work permit is so complicated that a very few number of asylum seekers can get to work. However even though asylum seekers are not freely allowed to work, some are being employed by COA for specific jobs like cleaning. They are being paid a maximum of 12 a week, an amount far lower than the legal minimum wage. With an income far below the Dutch minimum wage, these refugees are likely not being able to get out the vicious circle of poverty. With their very low income, they are not able to save and therefore not able to invest and they end up with continuous low consumption. They are also not able to use their human capacity to earn an income as the regulation does not allow them. They just stay immobile. With the combination of poverty and asylum regulations, refugees are not able to get a proper education and invest in themselves for their future. Therefore poverty becomes persistent among this category of people. In relation with Sen's entitlement approach (Sen, 1981); refugees arriving in the Netherlands have lost any kind of ownership. They arrive in a foreign country where they own nothing, they do not even own themselves as their can not profitably make use of themselves as they want. Furthermore, even though there is a well developed "mapping" in the Netherlands, refugees do not benefit from it as they do not have free access to factor markets. The best way to break the vicious circle of poverty among refugees in the Netherlands should be the abolition of regulations that hinder the access of refugees to the factor markets especially the labour market. If refugees are given the right to work and get a descent salary, their will be able to save, invest and become more productive and strengthen their economic security. 2.4.6. Political Security Under the political security dimension, this study considers the Dutch Nation and Refugees as being both opposed referent objects. They have both a legitimate claim to survival. This study use the concept of "Nation" rather than "State" since the issue discussed here is an internal one that does not concern international relations between different states.


In the Netherlands, the reception of refugees has moved from a non politicized issue in the 1980's through a politicized issue from the beginning of the 1990's, and became almost a securitized issue at the beginning of the 21st century. While numbers of asylum application have nearly halved in a decade, the issue is more controversial and visible than ever. There has always been a security dimension to the co-ordination of the movement of peoples across the borders (Levy, 2003). As it has been mentioned earlier, the Netherlands has been approaching the issue of refugees in a context of immigration. In the relation between the Dutch State and refugees, security at state level seems to be main focus rather than the "Human security Approach". If one tries to analyze the political security from the Dutch government side; the Dutch "Nation" becomes the referent object in the securitization approach, and for a "nation" survival is about identity (Waever et al 1993). The Dutch nation considers the flows of refugees in particular and the immigration in general as a threat to the Dutch identity and security. Politicians have been referring to the threat of a loss of identity due to immigration. At the beginning of the 1990's, Frits Bolkestein, then the leader of the Liberal Party suggested that Islam was a threat to liberaldemocracy and a hindrance for integration. In 2006, Geert Wilders the leader of the PVV political party warns against the "Islamization" of the Dutch society and compares it to a Tsunami. In a conference on Migration and Development, Bart Von Bartheld, the Director of Movement of Persons, Migration and Alien Affairs-Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the following in his speech:

"Through the ages many immigrants ­ both economic migrants and refugees ­ have made their way to the Netherlands and settled there. Recently, however, the numbers of asylum seekers, family reunions and illegal immigrants rose sharply. As a result, and within one generation, 10% of our population is now of non-European descent. Many of the new arrivals were poorly integrated into Dutch society. New issues emerged: de facto segregation, social problems, tensions and security-related challenges. The situation became untenable. Dutch voters made it clear they wanted a change. (...)We are applying the rules for asylum and family reunification more stringently" (Bart Von Bartheld, February 2005)

These politicians called for extraordinary measures to deal with their perceived "threat" of immigration. Bolkestein suggested that immigrant integration should be handled with more courage, while Wilders called for a ban of immigration from non western countries. This perceived "threat" of loss of "identity" is also implicitly addressed by even "moderate" political


parties in their support of a reception of refugees in "region of origin". Although the right wing politicians are considering refugee flows and immigration as a security issue and call for extraordinary measures, their move did not yet led to a complete securitization of the "nation identity" as their perceived it. This is due to the different perception of the "threat" and how "real" it is among political parties. While the government Balkenende II, a coalition of CDA-VVD and D66 decided to repatriate 26.000 asylum seekers who were living in the Netherlands for more than 5 years; the Coalition under Balkende III (CDA- PVDA and CU) opted for a regularization of this group of Asylum seekers. When taking refugees as referent object that claim for their survival, their securitizing process is something different from the state perspective. Refugees individually are threatened by possible repatriation in their country of origin that might be considered to be unsafe by the refugees. From their side, the refugees' protection issue seems to have been "desecuritized" in the Netherlands. The protection of refugees is no longer a priority or an obligation and the issue has been put out of the emergency mode. It has been shifted into the normal bargaining process of political environment. In contrary to the situation of the Dutch nation trying to securitize its "identity"; the move for securitization of the refugee's situation is a complex issue. First of all, refugees do not have means to put pressure on the political sphere and call for extraordinary measures themselves. The establishment of refugee pressure groups is hindered by the nature of their living conditions. Asylum seekers do also fear the fact of being denied a refugee status by the IND in case of any "non-desired" behaviour towards the existing policy. Internally, since years ago their interests are being voiced out mainly by the Dutch Refugees Council (VVN). The Dutch Council for Refugees is an independent organisation that represents the interests of refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Although it is an independent organization, it receives structural subsidies from the Ministry of Justice; facts that can affect its level of complete independence towards the Dutch Government. As an example, in 2003, Minister Verdonk threatened to cut subsidies on organizations that support refugees against the government policy. However, after the announcement of the repatriation policy towards the 26 000 refugees by Minister Verdonk in 2003, there has been a spontaneous movement from various organizations and left wing political parties in favour of regularization of these refugees. A coalition called 'Turn the Tide' has been established in which social organizations and a number of opposition parties have come together against the government plans in general, and the asylum policy in


particular. In addition to those internal voices against the Balkenende II asylum policy, international organizations have also warned against abusiveness of the policy and several human rights violations. Amnesty International, UNHCR and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) among others have been critical on human rights violation of the Dutch Asylum Policy. However although, those internal and external organizations warned against a threat to refugee rights, the protection issue viewed from the refugee's perspective is not securitized. The situation of refugee reception is still dependent on the prevailing political sphere. In the 2003 country report, the ECRE stated that "although the number of asylum seekers was extremely low, asylum remained a high profile political issue. Asylum policies and `integration measures' appeared driven by deterrence and were a threat to human rights standards". (ECRE, 2003)

2.5. Conclusion Several actors are involved in the reception process of refugees in the Netherlands. The most important are IND, COA, VVN, MOA and the Aliens Police. In relation to the framework of comprehensive security, it is clear that it is the legal dimension that affects mostly refuges. In the case of refugees in the Netherlands, the other dimensions of comprehensive security are much more dependent on the "legal status" of the asylum seeker. The reception attitude and practices have been changing trough time and this in relation to changes in the political debate. The reception of refugees has moved from a non politicized issue in the 1980's through a politicized issue from the beginning of the 1990's, and became almost a securitized issue at the beginning of the 21st century. Despite the fact that the number of asylum application have halved in a decade, the issue is actually more controversial and visible than ever. Confronted with a consistently high influx of asylum applicants and internal political pressure, the Netherlands has introduced new aliens acts in 1994 and 2000. Dutch political attitudes towards immigrant in general and asylum seekers in particular became harsher. With the Aliens Act 2000, the Netherlands revised their laws on asylum and immigration in a more strict way. Within this new law the Netherlands increased deportation efforts and set tougher requirements for asylum seeker to get a successful admission. This new law also led to high disadvantages in housing and property conditions among refugees and asylum seekers.


3. CHAPTER 2 Asylum and Dutch politics 3.1. Introduction This chapter illustrates the politicization of the asylum issues through time and shows how this politicization led to changes in the perception of the issue of refugees' protection and reception. The standing points of the biggest Dutch political parties are also illustrated. Furthermore, the chapter shows the reaction of the international community, NGO and human rights activists to this changing attitude in the Netherlands. The following questions are answered by this chapter: · · · What has been the place of the asylum issue in the political debates? What are the standing points of the most important political parties on the asylum issue? What has been the shifts of political opinion on the refugees' protection issue, when did they occur and how did they influence the reception attitude and practices? The chapter shows also how these political turbulences led to a decline of humanitarianism and human rights violations.

3.2. The asylum issue in Dutch politics Externally the Netherlands was considered to be a "Gidsland" (guiding Nation) in the area of "humanistic" issues. The Netherlands has been setting moral standards in issues such as development cooperation, international justice, human rights, and humanitarian action, in which the country after 1945, but especially after 1968, deemed itself to be a major actor on the world scene (Herman, 2006). The Netherlands has been also actively criticizing other countries that did not comply with the international agreement on humanistic issues. The Netherlands played a key role in preparing, drafting and lobbying for several international treaties and conventions on human rights. The Netherlands aided the process of drafting the 1966 international covenants on civil and political rights (Herman, 2006) and it played a prominent role in the preparation of the convention on the right of the child. However all the effort on these issues seemed to be directed to the outside world given that there was a complete lack of internal debate in the Dutch society on these issues due to the refusal of the several religious denominations to be told what order and moral was (Herman,


2006). Internally, it seemed that these moral standards that the Netherlands were imposing on other; where not to be imposed internally by any one. While in the 1970's the Dutch government and the Dutch civic movement were reinforcing each other in criticizing and judging other that failed in respecting human rights (Baehr and Castermans, 2002) they are nowadays fighting each others internally when it comes to asylum policy. However, in the Netherlands, the Asylum issue has almost never been approached as a single and distinctive political subject on its own. The protection of refugees as such has disappeared from parliamentary debate, or in official speeches. Immigration and integration issues have become the main focus despite the fact that the protection of refugees should not be confused with the issue of voluntary immigration or/and integration. This confusion on the political debate is on the expense of refugees who became victims of the perceived effect of immigration and the failure of integration policies. As mentioned earlier, Netherlands has been historically a country of immigration for a long time until about the late 18th century (1550-1800). After WW II, although continuous net immigration figures made it factually once more a country of immigration since 1967 (Lucassen & Penninx 1997), like in other Western European counties, there was a powerful norm that the Netherlands should not be an immigration country. Immigrant residence was to be temporary because the Netherlands regarded itself as overpopulated. The immigration of immigrant groups was seen as a historically unique event and further immigration was to be restricted or prevented (Penninx, Garcés-Mascareñas and Scholten, 2005). During the 1980s, immigration and integration issues were effectively depoliticised, providing stability to the Asylum Policy. When in the early 1980s, several extreme-right parties had managed to enter local and national political arenas, this tendency of avoidance and depoliticisation also led to a `cordon sanitaire' against extreme-right parties that wanted to `play the race card'. However, in the early 1990s, the public and political debate opened up. One of the major triggers was a speech by Frits Bolkestein, then the leader of the Liberal Party and of the opposition in Dutch parliament. He suggested that Islam was a threat to liberal-democracy and a hindrance for integration of immigrants and that immigrant integration should be handled with more courage. Such a new framing awoke a `silent majority' that was weary of multiculturalism but did not have the courage to speak out until then (Entzinger, 2003).In response, political parties started to take more explicit positions on this policy issue, breaking with the politics of avoidance. But here again the need for refugee protection was undermined by the immigration


and integration debates. The focus has been on these issues because the often low qualified and poorly integrated immigrants became a problem especially in big cities with regard to an increasing number of crime cases (Penninx, Garcés-Mascareñas and Scholten, 2005) For example in 2002 the right wing politician Pim Fortuyn could use the increasing discontent in the population for political success by statements on his disapproval about the Islam religion and immigrants of this religion in the Netherlands. The successful election of his LFP Party into a coalition of a new centre-right government coalition led to a new strict policy towards asylum seekers and immigrants. Although the downfall of this coalition and the unsuccessful results for the LFP, the successful Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) remained to pursue a strict migration policy. The concentration on themes of immigration and integration in political campaign has lead to the ignorance of the obligation of refugee protection in political debate and political programs. At the beginning of the 21st century, an unprecedented politicisation of the asylum and immigration policy took place partly as consequence of a series of international and national events and developments that triggered attention to immigrant integration. Internationally, the attacks of 11th September 2001 in the United States and 11th March 2004 in Madrid, and the War on Terrorism had effect very much the national debate on Muslim immigrants and refugees. Nationally, a series of events further heated the debate on immigrant and refugee integration. In 2000, a national debate emerged on what was labelled the `Multicultural Disaster' and the socalled failure of integration policies. These different elements of dissatisfaction on integration policy and the fear of Muslim immigrants/refugees were used skilfully and successfully by Pim Furtyun in 2002 in his political campaign for the parliamentary elections. Fortuyn himself wanted to close the Dutch borders to new refugees. Everyone was just supposed to get asylum in their own region. Although Pim Fortyun was murdered before the elections and even though his political party became weak and unstable; other political parties have to a large extent taken over the issues of immigration and integration in their political programmes. The function for a special minister for immigration and integration has been created. In the country report of 2003 on the Netherlands, ECRE stated that despite the significant drop in new asylum requests, the Dutch government appeared determined to strengthen `Fortress Holland'. Migration and asylum were mostly seen as negative and interchangeable concepts. The government's policies appeared to be based on certain assumptions such as the perceived wide-spread abuse of the asylum system; alleged problems with the


integration of newcomers and the perceived pressure on Dutch society, especially within large cities, as a result of migration" (ECRE, 2003). And although many of the criticism of the Aliens Act 2000 were a direct result of several judgements of the Highest Administrative Court, the Balkenende II government has not been open to any debate and suggestions to amend the Aliens Act. And despite the facts that amendments were urgently recommended by UNHCR, international and national NGOs, state advisory bodies and committees, lawyers and judges; the government's stance on these issues did not leave much room for debate or deeper analysis (ECRE, 2003). With the appointment of Hilbrand Nawijn in July 2002 and Rita Verdonk in 2003 for refugee's issues; it became clear that the Netherlands broke away with its tradition of tolerance and humanitarianism. These two Ministers have been successively responsible for Immigration and Integration (under which protection of refugees fell) despite that they are both outspoken anti- immigrants and thus anti-refugees. Hilbrand Nawijn is a fervent supporter of the death penalty and maintain good relations with Vlaams Belang (Vlaamsbelang, 2005) the Belgian Flemish party which has been accused of racism against migrants by the Belgian Justice.When Verdonk was appointed as Minister for Integration and Immigration in 2003, she developed a reputation for toughness and outspokenness, with her uncompromising immigration policies earning her the nickname "Iron Rita" (IJzeren Rita). Her choice, for Kay van der Linden as advisor, who played a part in antiimmigration election campaign of Pim Fortuyn in 2002, was an implicit message about her standing point on immigration and refugee issues. Several of her statements and policies seem to exploit xenophobic emotions in the country. In 2003, she was awarded the Dutch Big Brother Award for "promoting privacy violations because she handed-over the status of asylum seeker of rejected applicants to their country of origin, denied it repeatedly in parliament and later minimized the impact of this information". She also earned a position in the Human Rights Watch Hall of Shame for her policy of sending back Iranian homosexual asylum seekers, despite the general public conception that acts of homosexuality were punishable by death in Iran (NOS, March 2006). How can anyone expect a responsible protection of refugees from declared antiimmigrants/refugee ministers? Putting refugee's issues under the responsibility of these ministers was a clear message that the protection of refugees was no longer a priority. However a change came with the election of November 2006 which has led to a coalition of CDA, PVDA and CU under Balkenende III. The Labour Party leader Wouter Bos proposed a motion for what in effect would constitute a general pardon to the estimated 26000


asylum seekers, who were threatened by repatriation under Verdonk's policy. Although the new government in place since 2007 opted for a regularisation of this specific group of refugees, no initiatives have been taken to amend the Aliens Act 2000 which is still regulating asylum.

3.3. Declining Humanitarianism The politicization of asylum issues in the Netherlands has lead to a decline of humanitarianism when it comes to refugees' protection. A small percentage of asylum seekers are officially recognized as conventional refugees. In the 1990s, approximately 50% of all applicants were not granted asylum at all (Muus, 1998).From the year 2000, the successive governments made the decrease of asylum applications a top priority. In 2001 for example, although the number of refugees in the world slightly increased, the Dutch government was proud that the number of asylum requests fell drastically from 44,000 in 2000 to 33,000 in 2001 in the Netherlands. The IND declared that there was a need for a new aliens act "because, in the old aliens act, the chance of getting a refugee status was high, almost 40 % of the asylum applications and this has lead to the coming of more asylum seeker" (IND, 2007). Such a statement implies wrongly that refugees were coming to the Netherlands not because of their need for protection but because of soft asylum policy. Such argument undermines the concept of protection and lead to a wrong image of refugees among the local population who then just considers them as "profiteers" coming in the country just for economic interests. The office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva (2002) recognized the decline of humanitarianism and the anti immigrant attitudes in the Netherlands. In December 2002, writing its 2002 overview, the office states that "[a] high temperature against foreigners in Europe crossed a new threshold, especially in countries like Denmark and the Netherlands, traditionally major UNHCR donors and supporters."(UNHCR, 2002) It is also important to realize how different have been the asylum application trend in the Netherlands and the refugees' trend in the world. While the world trend decreased almost at a constant rate since 1992, the Dutch trend has been very fluctuant with a pick of asylum application in 1994 with 52576 applications and a very low level in 2004 with 9800 applications. These trends are illustrated in figure 2 and figure 3.


Figure 2: Asylum seekers in the Netherlands

Asylum seekers in the Netherlands

60000 50000 40000 Nuber 30000 20000 10000 0 Netherlands

93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 00 20 01 20 02 20 03 20 04 20 05






Figure 3: Refugees in the world

Refugees in the world

20,000.00 18,000.00 16,000.00 Number (in thousands) 14,000.00 12,000.00 10,000.00 8,000.00 6,000.00 4,000.00 2,000.00 0.00 Refugees

Despite the significant drop in new asylum requests from the year 2000, asylum remained a hot issue in Dutch politics. In the political campaign to the May 15, 2002 parliamentary elections, there was a kind of competition about who had the strictest asylum policy among the various parties. As mentioned earlier Pim Fortuyn made crime, immigrants and refugees the focus of the election. His suggestion was that the Netherlands should close its borders for new refugees and that refugees are supposed to get asylum in their own region. Although, no other political leader supported openly the idea of closing the Dutch border for new refugees, the idea of the reception of refugees in their own region did appear in the Dutch asylum policy. As an example of the willingness to keep refugees away of the national territory; since 2003 the Dutch government has contributed to the opening of orphanages in Angola and Republic Democratic of Congo, where young unaccompanied asylum seekers can be received. This means that it is assumed there is adequate reception for Angolan and Congolese children who are returned to their country. The assumption of adequate reception in countries of origin is increasingly applied, and only in exceptional cases is a child given a permit to stay (ECRE, 2003). In 2003 the Balkenende II government confirmed strongly its restrictive policy against asylum seekers and appeared determined to strengthen `Fortress Holland' (ECRE, 2003).

93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 00 20 01 20 02 20 03 20 04 20 05






The Minister of Immigration and Integration opted for stricter measures concerning border control in her return policy. The government decided to make more use of `mobile' aliens' police and more large-scale policing initiatives. It also decided to become more restrictive in the transferal of asylum applications from the closed asylum centre at Schiphol Airport to open reception centers. Although the accelerated procedure was meant for special cases; since 2002, it is regularly used to process and reject some 60 percent of asylum applications, including those lodged by people fleeing countries torn by war, ethnic strife, and grave human rights abuse. The Minister of Immigration and Integration has even suggested that about 80 percent of all asylum applications should be processed and rejected in the AC procedure (HRW, 2003). Furthermore, restrictions of freedom of asylum seekers were announced. The government perceived asylum as negative and instead of taking into consideration the need of protection for refugees, the government policies appeared to be concerned by the possibility of abusing the asylum system and the problems of integration. The government did not consider the potential need for protection as a priority in asylum procedure and the benefit of the doubt is not recognized in favor of asylum seekers. The government has also decided to cut resources allocated to refugees' reception. In 2003, the capacity of the reception system was reduced from 74,000 to 60,000 places. The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) closed a high number of reception center, decreased social activities and health care facilities to asylum seekers due to financial reasons. Although the number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum dropped from 3,232 in 2002 to 1,216 (9%) in 2003, not many unaccompanied minors receive a permit to stay neither on asylum grounds nor under the special unaccompanied minors policy (ECRE, 2003).

3.4. Human right abuses In the Dutch asylum policy, asylum is considered as a negative issue that has to be restricted. Asylum seekers are "criminalized", they are considered to be guilty until they prove their innocence, a fact that is contradictory to any legal and human principle. In interview, a refugee worker affirmed that the IND recommends its employees to assume that the asylum seeker is telling lies and that he is making up an untrue story (de Vries, 2007). Such approach is used by the IND employees in their interview and application processing. Instead of listening carefully to the refugee and try to understand the reason of his asylum application, the IND employees are tracking any small contradiction that may appear in the refugee's story. They use tactics to induce the refugees in contradictory facts with the purpose of having a reason to reject


his application (Layeb, 2007). The focus of the asylum procedure is to reject as much as possible applications rather than assessing carefully the reason to grant asylum. Beside the presumption of being considered as guilty of lies, there are some other examples that show how asylum seekers are being criminalized by the Dutch Asylum policy. The asylum seekers have for example to report weekly by the aliens police (VP). This restrictive measure of reporting regularly to the police can only be applied to Dutch national if only they are reasonably suspected of terrorist activities. An asylum seeker who failed to report once gets a fine of Euro 15. If an applicant does not fulfill the obligation to report to the VP for two or more consecutive weeks, reception facilities can be denied and the processing of his asylum application can be suspended. Human Right Watch (2003) confirms that its findings indicate that the current Dutch asylum policy approach has breached the Netherlands' refugee and human rights obligations. The Dutch government is unnecessarily increasing the risk that failed asylum seekers may later be deported to countries where their lives or freedom are threatened (HRW, 2003). In the 2003 report, the ECRE also recognized that Asylum policies and `integration measures' appeared driven by deterrence and were a threat to human rights standards. The abusive use of border detention is also a subject of concern. Asylum seekers who apply for asylum at the border at Schiphol Airport are denied entry to the territory and transferred to a closed application centre near the airport. If the application is rejected within 48 hours, they are usually transferred to a detention centre (Grenshospitium) in Amsterdam. Another well known detention center is based in Rotterdam. These detention centers are being used abusively since there is no maximum length of detention prescribed by law. The centres are known by refugee-workers as `intimidation centres' because of the methods that are being used to manipulate people to cooperate with deportation (Kuitert, 2007). The centre is also used for illegal people, no matter if they were on asylum before or not. If the judge estimates that the chance of possible deportation after 8 weeks is more then 50 %, people can be held for another 9 months in one of other numerous detention centres for illegal people all over the Netherlands. Deportation centre Rotterdam can not be visited by refugee workers. Only a few people ever saw the inside of this centre. The centre health care system has been strongly criticized. A television crew from Dutch public broadcasting was denied any future entry after showing a negative impression. During 2004, refugees' workers received the following stories which were confirmed by witnesses (De Vries, 2007):


Under custody 1

I was held inside a hall with blind walls for 8 weeks in a cell from 2x2 meter including toilet. There was no window in the cell, so no daylight and there was no fresh air. I was not allowed to use a tooth brush; there was nothing to rub my body with. One visitor smuggled a needle and dread inside the prison which was used to prepare some material to clean our bodies. Every day we were put in a cage for one hour so that we could see the air. I was feeling like an animal. In one other cage, people made noises like if they already became animals.

Under custody 2

I and my little child were arrested without any reason while we reported to

the aliens' police (VD). We were brought to Rotterdam and put inside a room. We were forced to undress, kneel down and stand up several times. After some days we were released without any explanation.

Dutch television stations have also broadcasted several programs on this issue. The reaction from the department of foreign affairs was one of anger and denial. The new Aliens Act 2000, although not very different from the previous act has lead to abuses of refugee's rights. The few changes that were made have had a clear impact on the practice of asylum law and policy. The most significant has been the shift in final authority for appeals in asylum and immigration cases to the Council of State (Raad van State), the Netherlands highest administrative court, which has given a strikingly restrictive cast to Dutch asylum law. The new law, particularly as interpreted by the Council of State has resulted in routine infringement of asylum seekers' most basic rights--the right to a meaningful opportunity to be heard and to seek asylum and refuge outside one's own country (HRW, 2003). The Dutch asylum procedure does not provide the asylum seekers all opportunities to explore and find proofs to support his application a long the procedure. This is for example the case for a traumatized refugee who would not be able to talk about his/her traumatizing experience during the accelerated procedure (48 hours). His/her asylum application might be rejected and he will not be given the opportunity to defend him/herself by bringing in this traumatizing experience later on in the procedure. The accelerated procedure gives applicants little opportunity to document their need for protection or to receive meaningful advice from a lawyer. On the other hand, the Council of State has severely limited the scope of judicial review


in asylum cases, so that asylum seekers whose claims are erroneously denied in the AC procedure have little hope of redress through the courts (HRW, 2003). The Minister for Immigration has also the authority to refuse reconsideration of an application, if no `new facts or circumstances' are raised. The terms `new facts and changed circumstances' are interpreted very restrictively. Facts and circumstances that occurred before the communication of the decision on the initial asylum application, and that should have been submitted prior to this communication, are not considered `new facts or changed circumstances'. According to the jurisprudence of the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State, traumatic experiences that are raised in a second asylum procedure are not considered `new facts or circumstances' (ECRE, 2003). Another point of concerns is the treatment of children in the Dutch asylum policy. Child asylum seekers as young as four are frequently interviewed without a lawyer or guardian present. The IND is conducting interviews with children that focused on detailed questions that are inappropriate in light of the children's age and maturity. Dutch treatment of child asylum seekers raises serious questions about its commitment to pursue asylum policies that serve the best interests of these children, as required under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), which the Netherlands have ratified in 1995, every child is entitled to special care and protection, especially from States and their institutions. Despite these international obligations, the Dutch Council of State held in February 2002 that the Convention was not applicable on children whose parents have no rights to remain in the Netherlands. This apparent violation of international humanitarian standards had as a dangerous consequence, that 30 percent of the child-asylum-seekers are being placed in the AC procedure without consideration for their protected status being a child (HRW, 2003). Furthermore in 2005, 235 children were in aliens detention centers while some of them had been even detained for more than 187 days (Lambrechts, 2006). In its repatriation practices, the Dutch asylum policy does not respect the nonrefoulement provision of the Refugee Convention (Art.33) or article 3 of the European Convention of Human Right. On the issue of torture, the Council of State has said that even in cases of forced returns to countries where the person may be at risk of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, in violation of article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), domestic law on procedure should be respected as a rule (Raad van State, 2002). The government has also been criticized for supplying to countries of origin information on failed asylum seekers; a fact that might put those who return in danger.


Some internal politicians and observers (such as Huub Oosterhuis and Jan Pronk ...) have been even comparing the Dutch repatriation policy to the practices of the Nazi's in the Second World War (NRC, 10 November 2006). The Dutch government, whilst acknowledging the uncertain human rights and security situation in countries like Chechnya, Somalia and Iraq, still believes that these countries do have an "internal flight alternative". Although the Netherlands has been very critical about the violation of human rights in these countries, it is closing its eyes on the fact that returned asylum seekers to these countries might be victims of these human rights violations. The Dutch government considered the Russian Federation, Somaliland and Northern Iraq as "internal flight alternatives" for asylum seekers coming from Chechnya, Somalia and Iraq respectively. And despite evidence provided by the Dutch Refugee Council, Human Rights Watch and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting during a case concerning a Chechen asylum seeker, the Administrative Jurisdiction Division (December 2003) ruled that there is indeed an `internal flight alternative' for Chechens within the Russian Federation. Another serious violation of the rights of asylum-seekers is the denial for material reception benefit for those awaiting an appeal after an initial rejection of their application in the accelerated AC procedure. These asylum seekers have no right to material reception benefits, including basic shelter like housing or social and medical support provisions. This is contrarily with the Dutch international obligations according the International Covenant on Economical, Social and Cultural Rights (art.11), which emphasizes "the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing'', regardless of the status of the groups involved.


3.5. Standing position of Dutch Political Parties on asylum policy 3.5.1. CDA The Christian Democratic Party (CDA) finds that the Dutch asylum procedure must always be both stern and fair. Asylum procedures must be short so that asylum seekers can get fast clarity on their applications. The CDA finds that failed asylum seekers do not deserve regularization since the decisions on asylum are done fairly and the judge has decided that they do not have a right on asylum (CDA, 2007). However the role of the judge seems to be constrained in asylum cases. In contrary to what many people believe, the judge does not have the last words in asylum cases. The IND is the only institution who judges the content of the asylum applications. When an asylum seeker launches an appeal against IND to the court, the judge is not in practice judging on the credibility of the asylum application. In actual regulations, the judge is only controlling that the IND has respected the existing procedure (Lambrechts, 2006). The CDA wants also a harmonized European asylum policy. 3.5.2. PVDA In general, the Labour Party (PvdA) thinks that the Netherlands must continue to give its contribution in the reception of refugees who really need protection. For the party, it is an illusion to believe that Europe in general and the Netherlands in particular can close their borders for the problem in the rest of the world. The PVdA recognizes that Europe and North America only provide reception to 2, 8 million refugees while Africa provides reception to 5.8 million (PVDA, 2007) The party finds that the Geneva Convention and international human rights conventions must continue to be the basis of the asylum policy. Further the PVdA would like to have a harmonised European asylum policy. 3.5.3. The Socialist Party (SP) The Social Party (SP) finds that the Immigration- and Naturalization service (IND) a principal part in the execution of the Dutch alien policy and asylum administration has unfortunately been working dramatically badly for the many thousand refugees and aliens who depended on its decisions. For this political party the IND has been consistently treating asylum applications in an unscrupulous manner without thinking at all that their decisions affect highly human lives (SP, 2007) finds that there is not even any political will to improve the situation


within IND while it should be a top priority seen the effect of the decision of this institution on human lives. Further, the point of view of the SP is that detention of illegal aliens should only used for a very short time and that is should never be applied to children in any case. According to SP refugees in asylum centers in the Netherlands are living under extreme restrained circumstances. They are built often far of the inhabited world, and refugees are mostly obliged to share very small rooms. The standing point of the party is that asylum seekers must more possibilities to work during their asylum procedure and contribute to their improved leaving contribution. People for whom asylum application is rejected should remain with the right of housing as long as they are actively preparing their return to native country. Municipalities have a care duty and should always have a right to provide straight relief to vulnerable people (olds, sick persons, women, and children) including illegal aliens. The government should not oppose the municipalities on this right. 3.5.4. VVD In it's standing position on the asylum policy, the Liberal party VVD does not stress the importance and the need for protection of refugees. This party is just focusing on the integration and security problems that are related to immigration. They consider immigration as negative and therefore oath for a policy of drastic decrease of the number of immigrant. The party recognizes that the number of asylum applications has been significantly decreasing. In 8 years, there has been a decrease of 75% which has lead to less than 10 000 asylum application, but the VVD still considers that additional measures should be taken to decrease it further. Henk Kamp, the spokesman of VVD on immigration policy in the Dutch parliament considers that asylum seekers are just economic migrants who just use and make abuse of the asylum procedure to get a resident permit (Kamp, 2007). Further, according to him, the all unaccompanied minor asylum applicants (AMA's) are not asylum seekers but just children sent to the seek for a better future or brought in the country to be abused. He therefore recommends that all the minor asylum seekers should be sent back immediately after their arrival. In debates in the second chamber of the parliament, he stated that it is a pity that the state secretary of justice Albayrak wants to treat and decide on the cases of this AMA carefully on an individual basis with a focus on the interest of the children. On his point of view pleading for the "interest of these children" sounds nice but putting forward their interests firsts contribute to maintaining the problematic. (Kamp, April 2007)


The VVD also urges for a stop of the so called "categorical protection" concept under which asylum seekers from highly unsafe categorized countries get asylum easily. Further it is according to the VVD `irresponsible not take necessary measures to decrease immigration with reasons of respect of the Constitution, international treaties or for instance the Privacy Law'. For Henk Kamp, "these laws and treaties are often obstacles to affective actions of the government" The VVD go even further by suggesting discriminating practices against refugees such as restraining the right of free choice of movement and establishment place. The party suggests that refugees should only be allowed to freedom of choice after they have been living in the country for at least 5 years (VVD-Tweede Kamerfractie, 2004). The VVD is also proud of being the political party responsible for the restrictive laws on migration and the right on asylum. Henk Kamp states:

"It was the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy that pushed for a hardening of the aliens'act with a result of a drastic decrease of the number of asylum seekers. It was also the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy that took the initiative successfully to strengthen the requirements for marriages' immigration" (Kamp, November 2007)

3.5.5. PVV The Party for Freedom (PVV) wants a stop on immigration of all non-western immigrants at least for 5 years with the introduction of a quota of maximum 5 000 refugees per year for whom it is proven that they cannot find protection and stay in their region. The point of view of PVV is that immigration is causing huge problems in the Dutch society such as criminality, integration problems and a high welfare costs. Therefore the party wants to put an end to any form of immigration of non-western people. To begin, the party suggests stopping all forms of family forming and family reunification for non- western people for at least 5 years. Meanwhile, the party wants that the existing aliens act to be hardened to restrict immigration that may occur after the proposed 5 years. (Wilders, 2007) The PVV considers the regularization (general pardon) of asylum seekers that have been in the Netherlands for more than 5 years as a "disaster" (Fritsma, June 2007) For the party, this regularization contributes only to an increase of "criminals" in the Netherlands. Sieste Fritsma considers the regularization as a pure treason of the government towards the Dutch society. However, in a book he wrote about the IND were he worked before joining the PVV, he recognizes that asylum seekers are not the main issue in immigration problems. He acknowledges that among migrants, asylum seekers are a small number. But why


does he take such a radical standing position against the regularization of asylum seekers while recognizing on the other hand that they are not so problematic? The explanation lies in political and electoral reasons. 3.5.6. The Green Left (GroenLinks) The Green Left party (GL) stresses the need for a human and fair asylum policy. Admission procedures must always be careful and asylum seekers should get a decent and human treatment. The party finds that the Netherlands does not only have to respect international treaties but it also has a moral obligation of providing asylum and protection as long as the causes of fleeing (armed conflicts, human rights abuse,...) exist. The GL recognizes that the actual asylum procedures are faster but lead to a careless assessment of asylum cases. Asylum seekers have a very short time to tell their story and their dossiers are inadequately assessed. This increases the risk to refugees of being repatriated to countries where their life can be in danger. For this party, the living conditions of asylum seekers in the Netherlands are also very bad. The party finds that every asylum seeker who is in the procedure for more than 3 years should get automatically a residence permit. There should also be also an admission procedure for economic refugees looking for better means of life. Moreover, the party finds that the actual repatriation policy for failed asylum application unworkable and inhuman. The party wants a special repatriation programme that can also provide failed asylum seekers with means of building a new future in their country of origin. For this party, there must also be a maximum legal limit for alien's detention (Azough, September 2007) 3.5.7. Christian Union The Christian Union (ChristenUnie, CU) wants a fast and careful asylum procedure which takes into consideration vulnerable groups and health conditions. There must be a harmonized European asylum policy with a focus on careful treatment. This harmonized policy should be the best practice not the worst and the EU member state should share the refugees' reception responsibility. Assisting aliens is a Christian obligation according to the party. The CU finds that the best protection should be provided in the region of origin of refugees. Therefore it is important that the Netherlands provide support to countries that receive refugees from their surrounding region. Asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their


application should be allowed to work, children should not be put in detention and the living conditions of asylum seekers should be improved. Family life for asylum seekers should be respected and the responsibility for aliens' policy should be brought under the ministry of foreign affairs (ChritenUnie, 2007). 3.5.8. D66

The stating point for the Democratic Party D66 is that immigration should be seen as a natural social process. For this party the image of the Netherlands in the international community has been damaged by a bad and hard integration and immigration policy (D66, October 2006).

In the specific issue of asylum policy, D66 finds that the asylum policy should be brought under the responsibility of the ministry of internal affairs. Furthermore, asylum seekers should have a right to the protection of judges and not leaving the last word to the IND. Asylum seekers' children should never be put in detention center and should always get access to education. It is a big shame to the Netherlands that in June 2005, 235 children were in aliens detention centers while some of them had been even detained for more than 187 days (Lambrechts, September 2006)

3.6. Conclusion During the 1980s, immigration and integration issues were effectively depoliticised, providing stability to the Asylum Policy. However, in the early 1990's public and political debate on asylum opened up. Extreme-right wing parties had managed to get votes using the immigration and asylum issues pointing out the integration problem. Driven with the fear of loosing voters, other political parties started to take more explicit positions on the asylum policy issue. Although extreme right parties did not manage to stay longer in governing coalitions, the successive governments remained to pursue a strict and restrictive asylum policy. In asylum policy issue debates, the priority has been shifted from the obligation to protect to security and integration problems. The protection obligation issue disappeared in political debates. The debate on asylum issues has been dominated by the problems of immigrations such as integration and criminality. In Dutch politics, the asylum policy issue is actually playing an important role than ever. In the parliamentary elections of November 2006, asylum issue has been a determinant


element. The 2 most winners of the elections are political parties with radical standing points on asylum policy issues. These are the PVV (outspoken anti immigration party) on the "extreme" right side and the SP (for a more moderate asylum policy) on the left side. The politicisation of the asylum issue has negatively affected the refugees' reception attitude and practices in the Netherlands.




4.1. Conclusion Although The Netherlands has been externally known for centuries as a leading country in the promotion for human right and humanitarianism, the treatment of refugees on its own territory has been a subject of concerns. Since the 1990's the recognized Dutch humanitarian tradition seems to be declining within its own border. This is mainly due to a politicization of the refugee protection issue. While in the beginning of the 19th century the "alien problem" appears to be marginal, in the beginning of the 20th century restrictive aliens' policies were not only formulated but also enforced. And although interest organisations and the UNHCR urged constantly for more generous admission policies, the integration opportunities were always used as an argument to urge for restrictive policies. Since 1967 continuous net immigration figures showed factually that the Netherlands was a country of immigration. During the 1980s, immigration and integration issues were effectively depoliticised, providing stability to the Asylum Policy. However, in the early 1990s, the public and political debate opened up. One of the major triggers was a speech by Frits Bolkestein, who suggested that Islam was a threat to liberal-democracy and a hindrance for integration of immigrants and that immigrant integration should be handled with more courage. Political parties has then started to play the "anti immigration card" in their political campaigns linking immigration to crime, social insecurity and national identity. The politicization of asylum issues has lead to a decline of humanitarianism towards refugees in the Netherland. A small percentage of asylum seekers are officially recognized as conventional refugees. The year 1994 has been a year of a lot of changes in the reception system. The legislation had become stricter and stricter over the years and reached an extreme point in 2001 with the new Aliens Act. At the beginning of the 21st century, despite the significant drop in new asylum requests, an unprecedented politicisation of the asylum and immigration policy took place partly as consequence of a series of international and national events and developments that triggered attention to immigrant integration. Internationally, the attacks of 11th September 2001 in the


United States and 11th March 2004 in Madrid, and the War on Terrorism had effect very much the national debate on Muslim immigrants and refugees. Nationally the murder of the cineaste van Gogh has strengthened the anti-Muslim climate and intolerance towards migrants and refugees. The successive governments perceived asylum as negative and instead of taking into consideration the need of protection for refugees, the asylum policy appeared to be concerned by the possibility of abusing the asylum system and the problems of integration. Nowadays, due to a growing public anti-immigration sentiment, it seems that political parties are competing for voters on the basis of who has the most restrictive policy against immigrants. Due to electoral interest, The Netherlands has pursued its new asylum policies at the expense of fundamental asylum and refugee rights. Not only the political turbulence has lead to restrictive and stricter asylum policy and a decrease of humanitarianism, it has also lead to human rights violations. It is such a pity to realize that refugees are falling under such political games while their lives are endangered Despite the announcement of the regularization of all asylum seekers under the old Aliens Act, the new Aliens Act 2000 has remained unchanged and there is no political debate on a possible amendment that could make it more human. Therefore there are hard times ahead for refugees who come to the Netherlands and for organizations that defend their interests. The politicization of immigration and asylum issues has negatively affected the reception and treatment of refugees in the Netherlands. The refugees' protection should be a fully depoliticized issue and asylum seekers should not be criminalized. In accordance with international procedural safeguards, asylum seekers subject to deportation should be given effective opportunity to challenge the lawfulness of the IND decisions, the detention and deportation in a judicial proceeding or before another competent independent authority. For this reason it is recommendable that the IND should be brought under the responsibility of the ministry of internal affairs instead of the ministry of justice. The judges should have the possibility to examine the content of asylum applications and should have the last word on decisions. The IND should only be considered as an administrative institution that should also respect the ruling of courts. The refugees have been victims of the political tendency to link migration caused by economic hardship and forced migration by war and persecution. Such a policy undermines the obligation to protect and the Geneva Convention. The Convention should not be interpreted as ad-hoc form of immigration policy but an international obligation of the signatories to consider the claims of applicants fleeing persecution. Furthermore the Dutch government should recognize that the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant international and regional


instruments mandating minimum standards for the treatment of all children are applicable to refugees' children regardless of their legal status. Finally, the Dutch government should revise current policy and practice to make the asylum policy "protection" oriented rather than "repression" oriented. Recognizing the prominent role of The Netherlands in promoting human rights and humanitarianism internationally, the Dutch Government should reverse the declining humanitarianism and amend its internal abusive regulations to restore its credibility of being again a guiding nation.


5. REFERNCES Administrative Jurisdiction Division (AJD), 2003. No. 200305474/1, 31 October 2003 Aliens Act 2000, section 54 Azough, N. September 2007. Schriftelijke vragen aan staatssecretaris van justitie Albayrak. Baehr,P.R., 2002. Human Rights in the Foreign Policy of the Netherlands. Human Rights Quarterly - Volume 24, Number 4, pp. 992-1010 CDA, 2007. Standpunten,

ChristenUnie, 2007.

COA, (4 May 2007) Council Directive 2003/9/EC of 27 January 2003 Convention on the Rights of the Child, November 20, 1989, G.A. Res. 44/25, U.N. Doc. A/RES/44/25 Dana, F. R., Sanjeev K., and William C., 2002. "From Human Security and The Environment To Comprehensive Security and Sustainable Development", The John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University . Doesschate, J-W.ten, 1993. Asielbeleid en belangen. Het Nederlandse toelatingsbeleid ten aanzien van vluchtelingen in de jaren 1968-1982. D66, October 2006. Echte vluchteling verdient bescherming rechter ECRE, 2003. Country Report 2003: The Netherlands.


ERF, 2004 "Country report ­ The Netherlands" retrievable at nds_en.pdf Fritsma, S., June 2007. Debat over het generaal pardon Geneva Convention (1951), Article 1 A Herman, J., 2005. The Dutch Drive for humanitarianism. Human Right Watch, 2003. Fleeting refuge: The Triumph of Efficiency over Protection in Dutch Asylum Policy", Vol.14, No.3 (D) IND, 2004. The Asylum procedure in the Netherlands. Uitgave, November 2004 IND, (2 May 2007) INDIAC, 2005. Reception Systems, their Capacities and the Social Situation of Asylum Applicants within the Reception System in the EU Member States: The Netherlands International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), art. 11 Kamp, H. 2007, Algemeen Overleg 21 maart en 4 april 2007, Kamer debatten. Kamp, H. October 2007, Koppenaal, H., Bos, C.A., Broer, J., 2003. High mortality due to infectious diseases and unnatural causes of death among asylum seekers in the Netherlands, 1998-1999. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. Koppenaal, H., Van Gogh, M., 2004. We are all equal but some... Utrecht, Pharos Kuitert, J., (Anti Dicriminatie Bureau), March 2007. Interview


Laban, C., Pijpstra, E., Gernaat, H., 2002. Care reform Drenthe Asylum seekers Project; Assen: GGZ Drenthe. Lambrechts, U., September 2006. Haal kinderen uit de gevangenis. , Lambrechts, U., 06 October 2006. Echte vluchteling verdient bescherming rechter. Layeb, Y., (refugee), April 2007. Interview Leenders, M., 1993. Ongenode gasten. Van traditioneel asielrecht naar immigratiebeleid, 18151938", Hilversum Levy, C., 2003. The European Union after 9/11: The Demise of a Liberal Democratic Asylum Regime? Lucassen, J., R. Penninx, 1997. Newcomers, immigrants and their descendants in the Netherlands 1550-1995.Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis. Muus, Ph.J., 1998. Migration, Immigrants and Policy in the Netherlands. Recent trends and developments. Sopemi report, ERCOMER, Utrecht. Mouthaan, I., De Neef, M., 2003. Feasibility study on sex education in international transitional classes. Utrecht, Pharos Newman, E., van Selm, J., 2003. Refugees and forced displacement: International security, human vulnerability, and the state. NRC, (26 April 2007) NRC, 10 November 2006. NOS, (26 April 2007)


Pasaribu, C.I., 2004. The responsibilities and execution of medical care of young asylum seekers. Leiden: TNO Preventie en Gezhondheid Puts, J., 1991. De gefragmenteerde overheid. Interdepartementale conflicten bij de totstandkoming van de Regeling Opvang Asielzoekers". PVDA, 2007. 107719/itemId/220098552/realItemId/220098552/pageId/107750/instanceId/107734/ Raad voor Volksgezondheid, 2005. Fighting female genital mutilation; policy advice; RVZ Den Haag. Rots-De Vries, M.C., 2002.Psychological problem of URM in West-Brabant asylum seekers' centres. Breda: GGD West-Brabant Penninx, R., Garcés-Mascareñas, B. and Scholten, P., 2005. Country Report on The Netherlands. IMISCOE (2005) Raad van State, decision no. JV 2002/125, March 5, 2002. Sen, A., 1981. Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, Oxford, Clarendon Press Sokal, D., 2001. Psychological problems for asylum seekers'chilrden from 4 to 12 years, Medical Officer Thesis NSPH: Utrecht SP, 2007. Standpunten. Tuk, B., 2000. Health, safety and developmental conditions of young asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Pharos UNHCR, Refugees, vol. 4, no. 129, December 2002.


United Nations, International Human Rights Instruments (HRI), 2001. Compilation of General Comments and General Recommendations, HRI/GEN/1/Rev.5, 26 April 2001, p. 23 Verdonk, R., Vlaamsbelang,


Vries, J.B. de (refugee worker), March 2007. Interview Von Bartheld, B., 2005. "Pursuing policy coherence on migration and development: a migration perspective" /microsites/IDM/workshops/Mainstreaming_02030205/state_bartheld.pdf VVD-Tweede Kamerfractie, februari 2004. Beleidsnotitie Integratie van niet-westerse migranten in Nederland. WHO, The World report 2006, Wilders, G. 2007 mid=72 Wit, J., de, 2007. Holland, "Asylum policy dead and buried", Woever, O., Buzan, B., 1993. Regions and Power. The Structure of International Security ZRA, 2004 "Polisvoorwarden", d


6. LIST OF ABREVIATION ABW: Algemene Bijstandswet AC: Aanmeldcentra AMA: Alleenstaande Minderjarige Asielzoekers CBS: Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek CDA: Christian Democratic Appeal CESCR: Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights CU: Christen Unie COA: Centraal Orgaan Opvang Asielzoekers ECHR: European Court of Human Rights ECRE: European Council on Refugees and Exiles ERF: European Refugee Fund GGD: Gemeentelijke Gezondheidsdienst ICESCR: International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights IND: Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst INDIAC: Immigration- and Naturalisation Service section Information and Analysis Centre IOM: Internationale Organisatie voor Migratie


LPF: Lijst Pim Fortyun MOA: Medische Opvang Asielzoekers PVDA: Partij van de Arbeid PVV: Partij Voor de Vrijheid ROA: Regeling Opvang Asielzoekers SRA: Stichting Rechtsbijstand Asiel UNHCR: United Nations High Commission for Refugees VP: Vremdelingen Politie VVN: Vereniging Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland WHO: World Health Organisation WVC: Welzijn, Volksgezondheid en Cultuur ZRA: Ziektekostenregeling Asielzoekers



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