On 6 October 2022, the District Court of The Hague ruled in a case (C/09/633760) brought by the Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland (Dutch Council for Refugees) against the State and the Central Organization for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA). The Court assessed the current situation of asylum applicants and international protection beneficiaries that are currently staying in crisis emergency reception locations in the Netherlands. According to all parties, this is the result of insufficient reception capacity made available for asylum applicants that have registered or want to register in the Ter Apel centre. The Court acknowledged that the Dutch State has an obligation to take appropriate measures to guarantee dignified reception conditions for asylum applicants. The Court further declared that the asylum reception conditions in the Netherlands are unlawful as they do not comply with the applicable European standards as described by the EASO guidance on reception conditions: operational standards and indicators. In particular, the Court highlighted that emergency reception centres should not be used for vulnerable groups of asylum applicants, such as unaccompanied minors, people in need of medical treatment, or pregnant women at a late stage of their pregnancy, if these facilities cannot meet their special reception needs. Furthermore, the judgment also addressed the situation of those asylum applicants that are sleeping outside Ter Apel because they are not provided with the basic reception conditions and ordered the authorities to immediately solve this issue and provide all asylum applicants in the Netherlands with accommodation, food, water and access to sanitary facilities. Finally, the State and the COA were obliged to immediately ensure that any foreign national that wants to register in the Netherlands as an asylum applicant is properly registered and given a safe covered sleeping place, food, water and access to hygienic sanitary facilities. Based on an unofficial translation from within the EWLU team. We would like to thank Sadhia Rafi, ELENA Coordinator for the Netherlands and Head of legal advice and strategic litigation of the Dutch Council for Refugees, for helping us with the summary.
Netherlands: The District Court of the Hague criticized the asylum reception conditions in emergency centres and obliged the authorities to meet the minimum requirements
6 Oct 2022 | News