We Are Here @Havenstraat have decided not to leave the building.

Nieuws, gepost door: nn op 31/05/2014 05:05:09

Wanneer: 31/05/2014 - 18:56

The refugees of We Are Here, who today should have left the former prison in the Havenstraat, have decided not to leave the building.

Reasons for this are that to go back to their countries of origin is no option. Not because they don’t want to, but because those countries are not safe. Besides some of the refugees are still working on their papers. All refugees are, after two years of moving from here to there, either physically or psychologically too ill to survive in the streets. Many have already before tried to survive in the Netherlands without papers and have been in detention.

Mayor van der Laan has been very helpful to support the refugees, for which they are very grateful. But now he states that too many refugees are not cooperating on their return.

1. In the report of VWN it is stated clearly that the asylumsystem is not precise (sluitend) and should be better and more precise (zorgvuldig). Many of the refugees are victims of an imprecise asylum system in which the burdon of proof, for example for their identity or country of origin, is too heavy.

2. Many of the refugees, who do not qualify under the asylum procedure for residency, come from countries that are unsafe and to which people can not return or be deported to. This is also confirmed by reports from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

One reason to stay is that the pilot that the city started, has not been finished yet:

a.many refugees are still working with their lawyers to obtain a residence permit;

b.activities together with VWN to work on staying or returning only started after four months of the pilot (a total of six months) and have therefor only been going on two months;

c. an unfinished and interrupted pilot can not be effective;

d. the goals of the pilot, created by the city, say that the city will be proactive to the Hague to support people who can not return. This has not yet happened.

To survive in the streets in inhumane. This is confirmed by the order of the ECSR (European Committee Social Rights 25-10-2013). Also Amnesty International stated yesterday that the Dutch asylum policy should never lead to putting people in the streets without basic means of subsistence. Especially for vulnerable people, who already have medical or psychological problems, this is very harmful.

The refugees of We Are Here will stay in the Vluchthaven until a humane solution is found for their problem. They call upon the Dutch and Amsterdam people, who in the past have shown their warm support, to again show their solidarity and support.

More information:

Ali Juma 0681742840 (English, French and Arabic)

Ilhaam Awees 0686434881 (English, Dutch, Somali and Arabic)


The mayor of Amsterdam starts a court case against the refugees to have them evicted:



Spread the word and let's stand in the way!


Ontruiming 'Vluchthaven'? Haak in voor verblijfsrecht!

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