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Belgium suspends receiving single, male asylum seekers

August 30, 2023 at 3:52 pm

State Secretary for Asylum and Migration policy Nicole de Moor pictured during a plenary session of the Chamber at the Federal Parliament in Brussels on Thursday 13 April 2023 [NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Belgium has suspended receiving single, male asylum seekers, media reports said Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Migration and Asylum Minister, Nicole de Moor, confirmed media reports that Fedasil, the agency that manages asylum reception sites, has been instructed to stop giving single men access to asylum reception and she said the focus would be to shelter families with children, according to public broadcaster, VRT.

“I don’t want to be running after the facts. That is why I am already taking the decision now to reserve all available places for families with children. I absolutely want to avoid children ending up on the streets,” she said.

“We continue to open new centres but, in the past year, everyone has seen how difficult it is to create reception facilities,” said de Moor, as she noted the high number of asylum seekers in recent years is weighing heavily on Belgium’s reception network.

She said measures in the past year have ensured that no explosion of asylum applications occurred in Belgium, but more needs to be done to ease the pressure.

In response, Kati Verstrepen, the president of the Human Rights League, said: “This is absolutely not in line with international or Belgian law. Reception should be provided to everyone.”

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