Gesthuizen: 'Deporting settled children is inhuman’

6 September 2012

Gesthuizen: 'Deporting settled children is inhuman’

On Thursday SP Member of Parliament Sharon Gesthuizen attended the demonstration for a children’s amnesty, a suspension of deportations of minors. Christian Democrat Immigration and Asylum Minister Gerd Leers received a petition containing 130,000 signatures in support of such an amnesty, but made it clear he was prepared to do little for these children.

‘Will you vote us away?’

Gesthuizen: 'Some asylum-seeking children, through no fault of their own, spend years under a cloud of uncertainty as to whether they will be allowed to stay or not. In the meantime they build a life in the Netherlands and the ties to their native land disappear. It’s sad that today it has once again turned out that the Christian Democrats, who call themselves the party of standards and values, have closed their ears to this.’

Immigration and Asylum Minister Gerd Leers

Six months ago the Children’s Ombudsman warned that the deportation of settled children could cause clinical harm. Just as now, Leers could see no reason to change his policy.

'Children must, above all, be rapidly and clearly informed about their right to remain in the Netherlands. The last government did nothing about this and Leers has too easily made these children objects of blame,’ says Gesthuizen.

SP leader Emile Roemer has also expressed a commitment to working hard in the interests of asylum-seeking children who are settled in the Netherlands. The SP was involved from the outset in the case of Mauro, a boy who has been brought up in Limburg in the south of the Netherlands, where he has lived for ten years and is now threatened with deportation to Angola.

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