Solitary underage asylum seekers in the Netherlands

Solitary underage asylum seekers in the Netherlands

Summary

During the period between 1998 and 2000, the influx of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers into the Netherlands almost doubled from 3,500 to 6,700 unaccompanied minor asylum seekers (i.e. from 8% to 15% of the total number of asylum seekers per year). No comparable figures relating to the influx of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers into other EU countries are available, as most countries do not register unaccompanied minor asylum seekers as such, or do not register them in a manner comparable with that of the Netherlands. The majority of the unaccompanied minor asylum seekers in the Netherlands come from a limited number of countries, in particular Angola, Sierra Leone, Guinea and China. Three-quarters of the influx of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers consists of boys, often between the ages of 15 and 17. This is probably to do with the fact that it is these boys in particular who run the risk of being deployed as child soldiers. The Netherlands has formulated a separate policy for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers, and this has made it an exception in Europe. In practice, however, there does not appear to be a great difference in comparison with the procedures and facilities that have been developed or established for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers in other EU countries. There is, however, a difference with regard to one point. The Netherlands is one of the EU countries, in addition to England and Denmark, in which it is possible for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers to obtain permanent residency status after three years. It is possible that this fact, as well as the long-term asylum procedures here (as a result of which unaccompanied minor asylum seekers do not return to their country of origin in the short term), (continue to) confirm the idea that the Netherlands is an effective choice, certainly in the eyes of travel agents.

Publication data

Author(s):
Olde Monnikhof, M., Tillaart, H. van den
Organization(s):
WODC, ITS
Place of publication:
Nijmegen
Publisher:
ITS
Year of publication:
2003
ISBN:
9055542350
Signature:
Ra 12.959