Biggest Number of Asylum-seekers since 2002
THE HAGUE, 02/11/13 - The number of asylum-seekers entering the Netherlands this year has not been so high since 2002.
Directeur Jan-Kees Goet of the Central Body for the Reception of Asylum-seekers (COA) expects 17,000 asylum-seekers in 2013. “First it went very gradually. So nobody really had their eye on it. But in the summer, we made a sharp turn. We are taking account of the rise persisting at least to the end of the year.”
It is not altogether clear why so many asylum-seekers are applying to the Netherlands this year. Many are from Syria, but many Eritreans and Somalis are also applying. In a recent reorganisation, 14 COA locations were closed and 40 percent of the staff dismissed. But Goet said Friday that former employees will be re-hired and new locations opened.