A petition launched in early December and targetting the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, has gained over 3,500 signatures in Belgium, reported the initiators of the petition, the Civic platform supporting refugees, on Tuesday. The petition is calling for the politician to guarantee that no more asylum seekers will have to sleep on the streets.
“Every single night over the past few months, hundreds of asylum seekers – including families with young children – have had to sleep on Brussels’ streets. One reason is that the Immigration Office has decided to register no more than 250 asylum applications per day, despite the fact that there are far more than that. Another reason is that the Belgian government has not provided enough accommodation for pre-reception refugees”, state the introduction to the petition.
The signatories, totalling 3,558 on Tuesday morning, are asking Theo Francken to provide more accommodation immediately and to make changes to the registration procedure at the Immigration Office so that it is “faster and more efficient”.
According to European law governments must offer asylum seekers a minimum level of social protection, which includes housing. “Although the number of new arrivals has dropped over the past ten days, we still need decent reception centres to be setup to relieve existing centres and to increase our reception capacity”, stated the Civic platform supporting refugees.