The municipality of The Hague stated that the situation of refugees in the center for asylum seekers in Ter Apel is deteriorating significantly due to the overcrowding in large numbers exceeding its capacity, which threatens refugees with the danger of sleeping in the open, at a time when the extreme right-wing and anti-immigration intensification, Geert Wilders, intensifies his efforts to form the new government after his victory in the recent elections.
The municipality’s spokesman stated that, given the “very bad situation,” it decided to accommodate between 100 and 120 registered asylum seekers at the NH Hotel in Kijkduin, noting that the situation is “very acute,” according to the “UK in Arabic” website.
According to what the municipality stated, how many people are actually accommodated at Deltaplein depends on the influx. There are between 50 and 60 rooms available for men, women and couples, but there are no places for children.
The municipality added that the central office for receiving asylum seekers will take care of these people, will bear the costs, and will be supported by the Red Cross.
A spokesman for the Central Office reported that no one has yet had to spend the night on the street, noting, “We take them at night and put them in the waiting rooms of the IND center, for example.”
He noted that the Central Office was very grateful for the assistance provided by the Municipality of The Hague, but stressed that the situation at the application center was still “catastrophic.”
Ter Apel can accommodate up to 2,000 people, but the maximum number is currently exceeded.
The spokesman stressed the importance of establishing a new refugee reception center, saying, “Some time ago, we emphasized the need of establishing new reception centers, not only because of the increase in the number of people applying for asylum every day, but also because of the presence of 16,000 asylum seekers in the current reception centers.”
He continued, they wait in local centers, and stay for a long time in reception centers “because processing asylum applications takes a long time.”
On the other hand, the local conservative Heart of The Hague party requested an urgent discussion about receiving a number of asylum seekers at the NH Hotel in the Kijkduin area of The Hague, expressing its anger about the new reception site.
The leader of the liberal-conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy in The Hague, Lotte van Basten-Battenburg, also expressed her dissatisfaction with the municipal council’s decision via X: “What are you thinking? In the middle of the family-friendly and populous coastal resort of Kijkduin? “.
For months, the reception center has been suffering from an increasing number of residents. Every asylum seeker arriving in the Netherlands must first register at Ter Apel to submit an asylum application and establish his or her identity. After that, he/she must go to a refugee reception center to process his asylum application, according to the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, which is responsible for housing refugees.
The government provided emergency crisis shelters, but many asylum seekers returned to Ter Apel because some shelters were closed.
However, rights groups’ concerns about the situation of refugees are increasing after the victory of the far-right, anti-Islam Party for Freedom, last week in the Dutch legislative elections, and the entry of its leader, Wilders, into consultations to form a government, which constituted a “shock to Europe”, given his positions in favor of his country leaving the European Union, and his vows to impose major restrictions on asylum and immigration.