Time for quicker procedures and a better system for children seeking asylum

15 August 2017

Time for quicker procedures and a better system for children seeking asylum

Asylum procedures must be speeded up, and improvements effected to the ‘kinderpardon’, the system for dealing with children who have long been resident in the Netherlands but who have no legal right to be here. In making this point, SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk was reacting to the deportation of the mother of three children who have already lived for nine years in the Netherlands . “This distressing deportation is the result of the fact that such long-lasting procedures are possible at all,” he said. “The children are the victims of a bad policy. This could be prevented by ensuring that families who have no right to be here are dealt with more quickly and that extended procedures with no chance of success are opposed. This would mean that something could also be done about a kinderpardon system which actually works, by giving parents who have made themselves available to be returned to their countries and the children of such parents, children who have lived here for more than five years, a residence permit.”

Van Dijk sees it as unjust that the two children Howick and Lily along with their mother, all of whom have lived in the Netherlands for nine years, are to be deported to Armenia, a country with which they have no conscious connection. “The government in a case such as this must put the interests of the children first,” he insists. “After nine years they have put down roots in the Netherlands and deporting them is irresponsible. Research has shown that in the recent past children deported to Armenia struggle with psychological problems because they are absolutely unable to settle in the country. The government must therefore invest in more rapid and efficient procedures, so that this sort of distressing deportation doesn’t happen.”

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