Asylum – Undocumented refugees refuse to leave Parc Maximilien
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    Asylum – Undocumented refugees refuse to leave Parc Maximilien

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    The dismantling of the camp set up in Parc Maximilien got underway in Brussels this Thursday. Only 4 tents will stay in place to welcome new refugees arriving by night. The undocumented refugees currently at the site have however announced they have no intention of leaving.

    The Civic Platform in support of refugees announced on Tuesday morning it would cease its work at Parc Maximilien because it “will not be used by authorities as an excuse to do nothing.” At the same time, Médecins du Monde, Oxfam, and Samusocial also said they were leaving.

    Approximately 70 tents will be removed on Thursday, including 25 belonging to Médecins du Monde. 4 more Médecins du Monde tents will be left on site for refugees who arrive at night in case no host family can be organised.

    The Civic Platform sent 183 refugees to stay with 96 families this week. Over 500 people volunteered to host refugees. The group is also working with the Red Cross to find places at the WTC III building for asylum seekers who already have a convocation letter from the Immigration Office. 125 extra beds will be available each day on the 19th to the 23rd floors from Thursday evening.

    The Civic Platform also has a 1,000-suqare-metre site available on Quai de Willebroek where services previously offered at Parc Maximilien will continue in the daytime, including legal aid, counselling, and medical assistance. Meanwhile, a group of 100 to 200 undocumented refugees have announced they would not be leaving the park. Collectactif, most of whose members are undocumented, is offering continued support to the refugees.

    In total, over 5,000 refugees have found shelter at the Parc Maximilien camp in the past few weeks, where an estimated 9,000 days of volunteer work was carried out, points out the Civic Platform. 

    Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)