Dutch government refuses to help homeless migrants

A statement from independent U.N. human rights experts said the Dutch government had declined to provide 15 million euros ($18.8 million) in funding to more than 60 municipalities where migrant shelters are needed.

Dutch government refuses to help homeless migrants

World Bulletin/News Desk

U.N. experts appealed to the Netherlands on Tuesday to provide emergency shelter to homeless migrants this winter, saying it was unacceptable to leave people in the cold in the Christmas season.

A statement from independent U.N. human rights experts said the Dutch government had declined to provide 15 million euros ($18.8 million) in funding to more than 60 municipalities where migrant shelters are needed.

Leilani Farha, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, said the government of centre-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte is required under international law to provide food, clothing and shelter to the needy.

"In these dark days before Christmas, it is appalling that the Dutch government will not even commit less than 0.01 percent of its yearly budget to help people living in absolute misery and poverty," the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said in the statement.

It said the European Committee of Social Rights, a body that oversees the European Social Charter, recently decided in two separate cases that the Netherlands was violating the right to emergency assistance of adult homeless irregular migrants.

The statement did not say how many migrants were affected by the issue.

Dutch government officials did not return phone calls seeking comment. No other European countries are known to have faced such complaints from the U.N. rights experts.

A small nation of 17 million people, the Netherlands welcomed large numbers of migrants for decades after World War Two, mostly from Turkey and Morocco. But it has become less accommodating amid a public backlash over Muslim immigration and increasing stresses on the social welfare system.

Last Mod: 17 Aralık 2014, 10:51
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