Asylum seeker tent camp doesn’t get cleared as planned
Plans to clear a tent camp outside the Klein
Kasteeltje reception centre for asylum seekers in Brussels failed to go ahead yesterday
evening. Following the sealing of the
Paleizenstraat squat in Schaarbeek where many asylum seekers had taken up residence
numbers at the tent camp outside Klein Kasteeltje operated by Fedasil, the government
agency that provides accommodation to registered asylum seekers, swelled.
Ahead of the sealing of the squat some 30
asylum seekers were camping out outside Klein Kasteeltje waiting to get
accommodation that is the right of registered asylum seekers. When the squat was cleared numbers swelled to
The tent camp is on the territory of the
Brussels borough of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek.
The local mayor, Catherine Moureaux (Francophone socialist), liaised
with Belgian asylum secretary De Moor (Flemish Christian democrat) at the
weekend. The mayor wants the issue
sorted and a “peaceful clearance of the tent camp in the interests of security”.
People from the tent camp were to be bussed
out to hotels at 3PM on Monday, but the operation faltered: “There were
problems finding hotel accommodation” said Moureaux “but the asylum secretary
has given a commitment to provide accommodation in a Fedasil centre this week”.
Fedasil is the Belgian agency that provides
accommodation to asylum seekers.
It’s understood that around 3PM the hotel
sector indicated it wasn’t ready to provide the accommodation. Hotel sources
speak of a lack of a protocol setting out the medical screening process and
providing a round the clock phone number that could be contacted in case of
issues. The hotel federation insists the
government earlier made these commitments.
The Brussels region and the Molenbeek
authorities are holding talks. If a
solution is found, it will be immediately implemented.