Omroep FlevolandAn image of the muddy terrain of the emergency shelter
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NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 20:18
Thirty LGBTI asylum seekers from the emergency shelter in Biddinghuizen are being transferred to other locations, out of fear for their safety. Dozens of reports of unsafe situations and discrimination have been made to an interest group. The refugee shelter on the Walibi Holland festival site opened last month.
Since then, 41 complaints have been received, according to LGBT Asylum Support. There would have been open discrimination against LGBTI people in emergency shelter. This would have been done not only by fellow residents but also by security guards. Reports also included “extremely unsanitary facilities” at the reception location.
The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) confirms reports by Omroep Flevoland that the group is being transferred. COA itself has not received any complaints about unsafe situations in the reception location, says a spokesperson. The group in question will be moved to other reception locations where they will receive more guidance and privacy.
‘You have to take it seriously’
“If you receive so many complaints, you have to take it seriously,” location manager Elsa van der Hoek told the regional broadcaster. After a conversation with the interest group last week, she concluded that her emergency shelter ‘may not be suitable for this target group’.
There are now 1,450 asylum seekers staying in the emergency shelter. That is more than the maximum 1250 residents that was initially discussed. According to the COA, permission for this has been received from the municipality, “because the pressure on the shelter is so high”.
LGBT Asylum Support has sent a letter to outgoing State Secretary Van der Burg about the problems at the Biddinghuizen shelter. In addition to reports of discrimination, there is talk of overflowing toilets and terrain made impassable by mud.
A company now cleans twice a day, writes Omroep Flevoland. The residents themselves also have cleaning duties.