Netherlands: Social rights experts back Conference of European Churches over treatment of irregular migrants

Social rights experts say a large majority of irregular adult migrants in the Netherlands are not offered emergency social assistance including food, water and clothing.

Adult migrants in an irregular situation are also denied access to emergency shelter whilst in the country’s jurisdiction, according to a 10 November decision from the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR). It states that the Netherlands is in breach of its European Social Charter commitments, after reviewing a complaint lodged by the Conference of European Churches.

In its review of another complaint lodged by the European Federation of National Organisations, the committee found that arrangements on access to emergency shelter breached the authorities’ obligation under the charter to prevent poverty and social exclusion. Emergency shelter is not provided to those with a valid claim, including migrants in an irregular situation. Migrant workers and their families have insufficient access to accommodation.

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