Inspections: the safety and health of children without parents in Ter Apel is well below the standard

The safety and health of children without parents at the asylum reception at Ter Apel remains well below standards. This is written by the Health and Youth Welfare Inspectorate jointly with the Justice and Security Inspectorate.

In a letter, the inspectors wrote that Secretary of State Eric van der Burg should take over responsibility for ensuring adequate reception sites for fatherless minors.

On Thursday, both inspections were at Ter Apel, where 213 unaccompanied minors were staying at the time. In fact, there is room only at Ter Apel for a maximum of 55 children, who stay there for four to five days. The inspectors wrote that with nearly four times as many fatherless children in Ter Abel as there are children without parents in Ter Abel, their safety, health and well-being are at risk.

“Because of this large number, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) is unable to monitor the safety, health and well-being of children. COA staff want to do everything they can, but they are no longer able to do so with these numbers.”

According to the inspections, children sleep in the units of her kitchens, toilets, showers and rooms are dirty. “There is a lack of hygiene, which means there are health risks. Young people are responsible for cleaning themselves, but they are clearly not able to.”

This is not the first time that the Inspectorate has written a letter to the Secretary of State. It also happened in June, when it came to putting all the children into asylum reception. “It was the daily reality for the asylum children that the children stayed for several days in a night shelter. There was also no access to medical care and there was a lack of needed guidance and help.” Inspectorate describes the situation of children without fathers as “more poignant than that of other children receiving asylum”.

In recent months, more and more children have applied for asylum in the Netherlands themselves, he writes RTV North. In August there were 588, reports the INS. In July, there were still 449 children, a month earlier, 283. A total of 2,291 children applied for asylum this year.

Megan Vasquez

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