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Belgium’s asylum shelters will no longer take in single men in order to make room for families

FILE - Men organise their belongings at a makeshift tent camp outside the Petit Chateau reception center in Brussels, on Jan. 17, 2023.
FILE - Men organise their belongings at a makeshift tent camp outside the Petit Chateau reception center in Brussels, on Jan. 17, 2023. Copyright olivier matthys/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright olivier matthys/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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The Belgian government said Wednesday it will no longer provide shelter for single men seeking asylum, arguing its insufficient reception capacity should prioritise families, women and children.

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The Belgian government said Wednesday it will no longer provide shelter for single men seeking asylum, arguing its insufficient reception capacity should prioritise families, women and children. 

Europe’s foremost human rights organisation and aid groups condemned the move as reneging on international commitments.

Belgium has long come under criticism for failing to provide enough shelter to the thousands of people who are seeking protection from persecution back home. 

Long lines of tents along streets outside the main processing centre in Brussels have become a stain on Belgium’s reputation.

On Wednesday, Asylum State Secretary Nicole de Moor said increasing pressure on asylum housing was expected over the coming months. 

olivier matthys/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
FILE - Migrants sleep on the floor of a squatted building in Brussels, on Jan. 31, 2023.olivier matthys/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

She wanted “absolutely to avoid children ending up in the streets this winter.”

 Instead, single men will have to fend for themselves.

According to the EU Agency for Asylum, male applicants last year accounted for 71% of asylum claims.

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