On Friday, De Standaard reported that due to the lack of space in the Home Emergency Centers (CAU) in Flanders, young people are now being placed in jail cells. According to the Minister of Youth Welfare in Wallonia-Brussels, Rachid Madrane, no such cases have been reported on the French side. De Standaard brought up the case of a Beernem girl (East Flanders), who, after losing touch with her parents, became involved in prostitution. Because there was no space in the Youth Center she had to spend two nights in a cell at the local police station. Flemish Minister of Welfare Jo Vandeurzen acknowledged the problem and announced on the VRT that a gradual increase in the capacity will begin as of next year.
On the French side, no such cases were found. “When we are faced with a lack of space, there are times when young people have been housed at the hospital, but never in a police station,” stated the office of Minister Rachid Madrane.
The Minister’s office did make a statement saying, “The minister intends to put the issue on the agenda of the next budget meeting.”
The union responded by saying “Putting young people like that in a police station, is forbidden,” said Pedro Vega, permanent CSPF for the youth support sector. “Belgium is regularly being blamed for cases only registered in Flanders,” he added.