Dutch reject UN call to feed, shelter homeless migrants

Asylum seekers from Somalia sleep in front of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service in 's-Hertogenbosch on August 1, 2012The Dutch government on Tuesday rejected a call from UN rights experts to provide thousands of homeless migrants with food and shelter during the bitter north European winter. An estimated 8,000 asylum seekers are turned down every year in the Netherlands and left up to their own devices pending expulsion. “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,” UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human right, Philip Alston. “Assisting migrants living on the streets is not a matter of charity,” he said in a statement on Tuesday, noting that the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) had recently ruled that the Netherlands was “violating the right to emergency assistance of adult homeless irregular migrants”.

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