UNICEF concerned for children in emergency shelter in the Netherlands

The limit has been reached for children in emergency care, according to UNICEF Netherlands. They are victims of the “ongoing crisis” of the reception of refugees in the country. “This harms the development of the 2,073 children in emergency care. These vulnerable children have the right to a place where they feel safe and protected. The Dutch government has a duty to ensure this.”

The situation in emergency shelters has been harmful and unsuitable for children for months, UNICEF Netherlands pointed out. Refugees are forced to stay in tents with hundreds of others in overcrowded shelters.

The organization has spoken to children in various emergency shelters and finds that the situation for children in emergency shelters is getting worse “week by week”. According to UNICEF, tents are still being erected and are not suitable for children.

“Nothing changes. We leave these children on their own,” said Suzanne Laszlo, director of UNICEF Netherlands. The aid organization wants children to be given priority when moving from large-scale emergency locations to smaller ones, where there is room to ‘just be a kid’. In addition, children must receive sufficient care and psychosocial support and must also be able to go to school.

“These children have been through so much. They need a stable, calm and safe environment to grow up in. Instead, they find themselves in a fostering crisis which further aggravates the damage,” explained Suzanne Laszlo.

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