Belgium will next year accommodate 1,150 refugees coming from regions close to conflict zones. This was indicated on Wednesday by the Secretary of State for Asylum and Immigration, Theo Francken (New Flemish Alliance) was speaking in the Lebanon, where he is currently conducting a working visit. The majority of people who will be resettled are Syrian refugees currently in Turkey, the Lebanon and Jordan. For the first time, 50 refugees coming from Libya will also be accommodated.
Since 2009, Belgium has regularly taken part in resettlement activities. These consist in both the selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they seek protection to another country, which has given its agreement to grant them a permanent right of residence. This measure offers a solution to people who cannot return to their country of origin, but cannot enjoy either sufficient protection or the prospects of local integration within the country of first asylum.
This year, Belgium will accommodate 1,150 refugees through this system, of which 1,050 Syrians are, for the moment, in Turkey, the Lebanon and Jordan. The other 100 are Congolese refugees who fled to Uganda. Moreover by September 15th, the Belgian state is due to indicate to the European Commission the number of refugees which it anticipates resettling in 2018. Secretary of State Francken will, once again, propose the total of 1,150, of whom are 1,050 Syrians (600 from Turkey, 350 from the Lebanon and 100 from Jordan).
Fifty Congolese from Uganda and refugees from Chad and Niger, currently in Libya, will also be going to Belgium. Theo Francken commented, “I favour resettlement, a form of legal migration for the most vulnerable.” He added, “Granting asylum after illegal migration must stop. Simply getting on a boat can no longer be an admission ticket to the European Union.”
The Brussels Times