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The Netherlands must take urgent measures to improve reception conditions for asylum seekers

Letter
Strasbourg 02/09/2022
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The Netherlands must take urgent measures to improve reception conditions for asylum seekers

In a letter addressed to the Dutch Minister for Migration published today, Commissioner Mijatović expresses her concern about asylum reception conditions in the Netherlands. The Commissioner’s letter follows a further worsening of the situation, especially at the Ter Apel registration centre, endangering the right to health of the people involved. The conditions appear to fall short of even the minimum standards under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Commissioner urges the government to take all necessary measures to effectively protect the right to health of those involved. She also calls on the government to promptly identify vulnerable people and ensure that they are provided with appropriate accommodation as soon as possible.

The Commissioner notes that recent proposals to tackle the current challenge could impact on the right to seek asylum or the enjoyment of the right to family life, including through restrictions on family reunification. She stresses that any steps must be fully in line with the Netherlands’ international obligations. The Commissioner also encourages the authorities to work towards a more sustainable system of reception that is responsive to fluctuations in arrivals, ensures safe and dignified conditions for all, and can rely on the widest possible support in society.