February 5, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Court in The Hague condemns special rules for Ukrainian refugees

Dutch News reports: The Hague Court of Appeal has ruled illegal the exceptions for Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands.

The court decision says editionthat the Dutch authorities established illegal distinctions between Ukrainian refugees and asylum seekers from other countries. For example, exceptions were recognized as illegitimate, according to which Amsterdam allowed refugees from Ukraine to remain in the country without going through the asylum procedure and gave them the opportunity to work immediately upon arrival in the Netherlands:

“Both groups of refugees are fleeing war and violence, and no distinction should be made in admitting both.”

Earlier it was reported that many refugees from Ukraine were forced to spend the night on the street in the Netherlands. This was due to the large influx of people fleeing the war, the refugee reception center simply could not cope. After submitting an application within the walls of the institution, it is allowed to stay for six days. As a rule, this time is enough for people to find housing. However, due to the large number of refugees, the centers do not meet the deadlines, so they have to wait for their turn to be resettled in other places.

In October, a lower court ruled that the Netherlands fell short of international standards and the government must ensure that every asylum seeker has access to a roof over their heads, food, water and sanitation. The court also ordered the state to take immediate action. However, the state and the refugee resettlement agency filed an appeal, arguing that they needed more time to comply. The Court of Appeal has now ruled in their favor. The decision says:

“Performance [требований] stalled and there are too few beds for people to comply with. It is also clear that the lack of beds is exacerbating the housing shortage in the country.”

The refugee aid group Vluchtelingenwerk argued that refugees should be housed in vacant government buildings or leisure parks, but the court disagreed, pointing out that there was a severe shortage of workers to carry out such projects.

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