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Members of Parliament shocked by disappearances from Dutch reception centers

Dutch government is launching a so-called “phenomenon investigation” into asylum seekers who disappeared without a trace from Dutch reception centers.

Argos and NRC Handelsblad reported that in 2019, nearly a thousand asylum seekers from Nigeria disappeared without a trace from reception centers. They based this conclusion on figures from the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA).

State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol (Ministry of Justice and Security) responded to questions from Members of Parliament Attje Kuiken (PvdA), Achraf Bouali (D66) and Bram van Ojik (GroenLinks) based on the publication of Lost in Europe journalists in June 2020. Broekers-Knol announced the investigation in the House of Representatives.

There are many signs that people have become victims of human trafficking. Broekers-Knol emphasized that it is not something that can be solved overnight. “But contact with Nigeria is good. I was there in November to talk about human trafficking.” She emphasizes that in a European context, the Netherlands is ‘leader’ in tackling human traffickers. She repeats that it cannot be solved just like that. “I can’t paint a better picture.” (source: AD)

Read the full article in NRC on the State Secretary’s response and the investigation of Lost in Europe here (in Dutch).

Defence for Children-ECPAT Netherlands will advocate with Dutch and European politicians to ensure that policies change to better protect (un)accompanied children in reception centres.

Photo: © Paulien van de Loo/Hollandse Hoogte, via NRC.