Dutch MPs back separate centres for gay refugees
Dutch MPs have backed a motion calling for the establishment of a centre for gay refugees, separated from the main refugee population.
The motion was submitted by the progressive Democrats 66 party in the country’s Parliament this week, after repeated reports warned that LGBT people are facing a shocking number of attacks in asylum and refugees centres across Europe.
Concerns have been raised about a number of homophobic and transphobic incidents in cases where LGBT people – many of whom have fled execution or persecution – are targeted by other refugees.
According to De Telegraaf, the issue split the country’s coalition government, with the centre-left Labor Party (PvdA) backing the motion while the right-wing People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) opposed it.
According to Dutch News, PvDA MP Attje Kuiken said: “If the need is so great and people fear for their lives, you have to do what you can for these people.”
The Netherlands has tightened its rules for refugees and asylum seekers amid a wave of migration across Europe – and the country’s laws are now stringent.
Under the country’s existing rules, working refugees have to hand over up to 75% of their income to cover the cost of the immigration system – as well as declaring any savings and valuables that they have.
According to government data, refugees in the Netherlands have paid more than €700,000 (£530,000) over the past four years.
A centre for LGBT asylum seekers was recently opened by gay rights group Schwulenberatung, a gay rights organisation in Berlin. It will cater for 125 LGBT asylum seekers, out of an estimated 3,500.
A recent report noted 95 cases of violence against LGBT people, the majority of which took place inside centres for refugees and asylum seekers.
The cases noted include sexual assaults, insults, threats and coercion, as well as physical violence.