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    Relatively few transfers of asylum seekers within Europe

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Belgium sends one in every five asylum seekers back to his/her country of first entry into the European Union (EU), De Tijd reported on Tuesday, based on new figures for 2017 from the Immigration Office. Belgium sent 5,346 requests to other EU countries to send asylum seekers back to them in keeping with the Dublin rules. This regulation states that an EU member State may send asylum seekers back to the member State where they were first registered.

    Such transfers were done in 1.054 cases: 3,882 positive decisions were received, but only one-third of these gave rise to transfers. The persons concerned are detained in a closed centre before being sent back.

    Because of a lack of space, all asylum seekers cannot be placed in a closed centre and they thus receive an order to register at a foreign address for a certain date. The result is that asylum seekers often go underground.

    Some 661 asylum seekers were sent back to Belgium out of a total of 4,118 requests sent from other countries, fewer than 2 out of 10.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times