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Belgium’s asylum system creaks on the seams as refugees wrestle to search out shelter


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Belgium is dealing with a significant refugee disaster as its asylum system struggles to deal with the sheer quantity of refugees making use of for shelter.

Each morning for weeks now, lengthy queues of asylum seekers have fashioned in entrance of the Startpunt registration centre in Brussels the place households with youngsters have precedence, however even for them, a dramatic lack of lodging exists.

Helene Asselman, a coordinator at Startpunt, informed Euronews that she fears no resolution will probably be discovered within the brief time period.

“These final days, we’re seeing increasingly more 15-year-old minors, households with 4 young children who haven’t any resolution,” Asselman stated verging on tears.

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“We attempt to discover emergency options for them, however with what has occurred in the previous few days – with many extra households and minors who didn’t have a spot – I actually concern that for the following few days, we will be unable to discover a resolution for them.”

The system is unable to deal with extra calls for as reception centres within the nation haven’t any extra room to spare.

One Afghan refugee informed Euronews that he had been sleeping within the streets of Brussels for practically three months, regardless that he managed to register a very long time in the past.

“They [Belgian officials] haven’t given us something to camp in and we don’t have shelter. We face issues with garments and wearables and each authority we go to, they inform us that there isn’t any place,” the asylum seeker from Afghanistan stated.

“We sleep on the street day and evening. Lastly, we don’t perceive what our resolution is. We’re confronted with completely different issues wherever we go.”

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Belgium has come below hearth not too long ago for failing to supply enough lodging to asylum seekers, with the European Courtroom of Human Rights slapping the nation on the wrist greater than as soon as this yr.

In keeping with the federal government, by the top of the yr the overall determine of asylum calls for might attain 100,000 – a determine that elevated with the arrival of Ukrainians escaping the struggle, who even with particular standing are beginning to keep away.

Others refugees are coming primarily from Afghanistan, Syria, Burundi and Eritrea.

As winter quick approaches, observers and staff on the bottom concern the state of affairs will solely worsen and whereas assist organisations name on authorities to take motion, the Belgian authorities is urgent the EU for higher solidarity in managing asylum seekers, in addition to a rehaul of the bloc’s migration coverage.


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