If there is no more shelter for unaccompanied minor foreign nationals soon, there is a risk that a large group of children and young people will not have a bed, protection and guidance during the summer of 2023.
Director Tanno Klijn of the Nidos guardianship institution, which focuses on youth protection for refugees, warns against this.
Nidos, together with the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), calls on municipalities to arrange reception earlier than planned for young refugees who have come to the Netherlands alone this year. According to them, almost every single bed for children and young people up to the age of seventeen is occupied every day at COA and Nidos. According to the two organizations, the problems are widespread throughout the country and in Ter Apel the maximum reception capacity for these young people is under pressure on a daily basis.
The influx of unaccompanied minor foreign nationals was higher in April and May than in the previous months and is expected to increase further in the coming period, the organizations indicate. “The amount of available beds for this target group is falling further and further behind what is needed,” they report in a press release. This year, 4,700 extra places would be needed for the group of children and young people, says Nidos.
Temporariness of emergency shelter
Apart from the fact that with the current influx, the shelter will not be sufficient to offer all young people a bed and supervision, a large part of the current COA locations also consists of emergency shelter. That shelter is therefore temporary. “Sustainable places must also be found for these locations.”
The call is also being made on behalf of the so-called contract partners of Nidos, the places where shelter for these groups is arranged. According to COA director Joeri Kapteijns, the call is also supported by ‘the necessary mayors and aldermen’. “That says everything about the need to take action in the short term.”
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