A human rights report by the Council of Europe shows the Netherlands in a critical light over its migration and asylum policy.
The 47-nation Council’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, focused concern on ethnic profiling and the detention conditions for immigrants as young as age 12 — this in an EU country traditionally held in high esteem for its tolerance and openness. Hammarberg said: “If I was government member in the Netherlands, I would look in particular at the issue if migrants and how they are treated, to ensure that those who come have a genuine chance to apply for asylum, that one avoids (putting) minors in detention, even for a short period of time.” Non-governmental organisations have for years said the Dutch have been taking an approach toward asylum seekers which stands out among Western European countries. A rise in anti-immigrant attitudes has also coincided with stricter integration requirements. The government says current policy on immigration is restrictive because the Netherlands is so densely populated, and that 18 percent of the population is of recent foreign descent.