[The Netherlands] More refugee families with children disappear from deportation centres

15 Jan 2019
Dutch News

360 asylum seekers disappeared from family deportation centers in the Netherlands in 2018, 20% more than a year before while at the same time the number of people living in this kind of accommodation decreased. Among 360 asylum seekers who disappeared, 210 were children.

Martine Goeman, a lawyer with child rights organisation Defence for Children explained for the local paper “the fear of detention and deportation is so huge that families are opting to disappear into the illegal sector rather than go back to their country of origin where their perspectives are zero”.

Deportation is a particular problem for those who stayed in the Netherlands over longer period, and especially children. The permit to stay under the amnesty was put in place 6 years, but around two thirds of the applicants have been rejected. Nevertheless, out of 1400 children whose requests for residency permit under the amnesty were rejected, only for 80 it is possible to confirm they left the country. It is estimated majority of those children are still in the Netherlands without the permit, some managed to obtain permit through different channels and some disappeared. Some of those children have been in the Netherlands for as long as 10 years and deportation is particularly harmful for them. According to the professor who studied this, children deported after a long-term residency tend to suffer from chronic stress and have more impulsive behavior.

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