Belgium’s reception centers for asylum seekers overwhelmed

Brussels, Aug 23 (EFE).- Belgium’s reception centers for asylum seekers are in crisis, with overcrowded centers leading to clashes and unsafe conditions.

“Since May, we have been experiencing a crisis in the reception system,” director of the Fedasil refugee center in Brussels, Isabelle Plumat, told Efe.

Plumat’s comments came after clashes between asylum seekers outside the reception center Tuesday and staff staged a short strike due to unsafe working conditions.

“Our staff could not enter from the main door, they had to enter from the back door, for security reasons,” she added.

Belgium is facing the highest monthly number of asylum applications since the 2015 migration crisis.

“We allow families, unaccompanied minors and people with health problems to enter, but this is not right. We should not have to select people who are in horrible medical situations,” Plumat denounced.

The director said that the solution would not be to open more reception centers but to change the system at its core.

“We are asking for measures to take people out of reception centers quickly so that we can make room and grant places to new applicants,” she said. EFE


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