Refugee tent camps springing up in Dutch cities

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

Growing numbers of asylum-seekers and refugees are setting up tent camps in major Dutch cities. They’re no longer able to stay in refugee centres because either their asylum request was rejected or they are awaiting their appeal.
Under Dutch law, people whose asylum request has been denied must leave the Netherlands within 28 days. But it often takes months for them to get a passport from their embassy. While they wait, they have no choice but to live on the streets.
The number of asylum-seekers who remain in the country is continuing to rise: 51% leave for what’s called “an unknown destination”, in practice that means they go underground in the Netherlands. That's 6000 people in the first six months of 2012.