Suspension of accommodation of male asylum seekers in Belgium
The Belgian government said it was only a temporary measure, but did not say how long the restriction would last. They added that the focus is on accommodating families.
The Belgian government is temporarily suspending the accommodation of unmarried male asylum seekers. It is not yet known how long the restriction will last. They justified their decision by the fact that there are few places available, so they will continue to focus on providing housing for refugee families.
“The sad truth is that we don’t have enough free places, so I have to make very difficult decisions,” said the Belgian Minister of State for Asylum, Nicole de Moor.
Belgium has already come under criticism for not providing enough accommodation for refugees, with long lines of tents erected in the street in front of the reception center in Brussels.
According to data from the European Union’s Asylum Agency, 71% of those applying for refugee status last year were men.
Activists and asylum seekers demonstrated in the Belgian capital, Brussels, to protest the government’s decision. Alexis Disuyev, vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights, said the restrictions were illegal.
They say that there are not enough places, while there are places and reception centers that have been closed. “This is very unfortunate for us,” said one refugee.
International organizations believe that the Belgian government is in breach of its obligations.