Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen’s latest report ‘Ceci n’est pas un demandeur d’asile…’ investigates Belgium’s response to the refugee “crisis” over the course of the past year. The report shows that the Belgian government used the “crisis” to dissuade asylum seekers from claiming asylum and to limit their rights.
One of the measures that restricts access to asylum procedures is the newly created pre-registration phase which leaves refugees waiting before they can lodge an asylum claim, a system maintained even after a sharp drop in asylum applications. Upon preregistration, asylum seekers are given a dissuasive letter stating reasons why they should not apply for asylum in Belgium.
Charlotte Vandycke, Director of Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen comments: “The preregistration procedure is responsible for the fact that even now people are still sleeping on the street.”