Tech & Rights

Dutch Parliament Supports Humane Treatment of Refugees

The Dutch House of Representatives has expressed support for a more humane European asylum policy, and in so doing has scrapped the plan of right-wing ruling party VVD to abolish the European asylum policy and close the European borders once and for all.

by Nederlands Juristen Comité voor de Mensenrechten
Photo: Zoriah - Flickr/CC Content

On March 31, 2015, a motion by the members of the Dutch House of Representatives Linda Voortman (Green party) and Attje Kuiken (Labour party) was passed. In the motion, the MPs call on the government to increase its efforts for a humanitarian rescue mission in the Mediterranean and for more opportunities for refugees to legally come to Europe.

"People who are no longer safe in their own country are entitled to asylum, that is a basic human right. For this reason, we should enable refugees to apply for asylum in a regular way, without them having to risk their lives by crossing the Mediterranean Sea on rickety boats. A large part of the illegal migration results from the fact that in many cases, legal migration is not an option," declares Linda Voortman.

The Voortman-Kuiken motion adjusts the Dutch position with regard to the asylum policy of the European Union in some important areas. The motion calls for a humanitarian mission that aims to save the lives of refugees in the Mediterranean. According to Ms. Voortman, European ships should not just patrol along the European coastline, but cover a larger part of the Mediterranean Sea to rescue refugees.

In light of the position of the European Council on migration, the Voortman-Kuiken motion requests the government to focus on the following elements:

  • a common European asylum policy and safeguarding asylum protection and proper reception in all member states;
  • investment in and promotion of the proper reception in the region;
  • a humanitarian mission in the Mediterranean that not only monitors border control but also has the aim to save refugees;
  • a European resettlement policy in which all member states partake;
  • creation of a system of safe and legal migration;
  • an effective clampdown on human trafficking.