On Wednesday morning, several human rights organisations including the Belgian Human Rights League, Médecins du Monde and Ciré, protested in front of the Brussels Labour Court on behalf of asylum seekers turned away from reception centres by Fedasil.
As part of the stunt, hundreds of bags were dumped by activists in front of the court, each one symbolising an asylum seeker that had been denied reception.
Protestors argue that the refusal of a reception place by Fedasil constitutes a blatant denial of rights. Asylum applicants who are not considered vulnerable are left in judicial limbo, as they are not registered with the Immigration Office and so are left on the street.
"Most importantly, they are not given priority by Fedasil to be assigned a place of reception in a facility," noted Médecins du Monde."Hundreds of individuals have been left on the streets with no legal framework, despite the fact that they are entitled to immediate reception under European and national legislation."
As a result, asylum seekers have gone to court, filing over 700 unilateral claims against Fedasil in labour tribunals. And, as seen by a recent press release, this has greatly impeded the operation of labour courts.
- Courts repeatedly order Fedasil to provide shelter to asylum seekers
- Non-Ukraine refugees speak of unfair treatment: ‘Don’t I also have the right to live?’
Protesting organisations argue that the constant saturation of the reception network is a veiled attempt to deter individuals from requesting asylum in Belgium.
Hélène Crokart, a lawyer specialising in immigration law, declared that "the judicial system is currently being held hostage and we, lawyers, magistrates, clerks, bailiffs, are now in charge of Fedasil's administrative missions, and this is unacceptable."
This is why, in order to protest the slow processing of these applications, over a hundred bags were left on the steps of the Brussels Labour Court.