Belgium: asylum shelters reserved for families

Belgium’s State Secretary for Asylum Nicole de Moor has announced that male asylum seekers without relatives in Belgium will no longer be allowed to live in state-run accommodation for asylum seekers. The rare places in such accommodation will be reserved for families with children, she explained, adding that the men must find their own accommodation or use emergency shelters for the homeless. The move has triggered outrage in the national press.

De Standaard (BE) /

You can’t sink any lower

De Standaard is flabbergasted:

“Single men must now fend for themselves because the sight of a child in a cardboard box would be too much for De Moor. This demonstrates that Belgian asylum policy is sinking to unfathomable depths, just like the Titanic. It can hardly sink any lower. The casual manner in which De Moor is ignoring the legal obligation to provide accommodation to everyone is repulsive. Even court-imposed fines failed to prompt them to reconsider. That alone signifies an unacceptable disregard for the rule of law. Furthermore, there’s a lack of respect for the human dignity of single male asylum seekers.”

Ruben Mooijman
Le Soir (BE) /

State promotes homelessness

The government is only shifting the misery elsewhere instead of tackling it, criticises Le Soir:

“Countless condemnations of the Belgian state for failing to fulfil its duties have amassed. The government’s official decision on Tuesday to trample on its obligations is a further step towards illegality. Under the pretext of sparing families the agony of homelessness, other supposedly less vulnerable people are being plunged right into it. The solutions proposed by the Christian Democratic politician lack credibility: the emergency shelters in Brussels to which these single men are supposed to be sent are overflowing. Already a year ago, more than 6,000 homeless individuals were recorded in the streets of the capital, 20 percent more than in 2020.”

Véronique Lamquin