A week after the cabinet proposed the plan to receive asylum seekers in ships on the high seas, state secretary Van der Burg is already putting an end to it. According to him, there are too many risks attached to the unorthodox reception method and it is not possible to always have boats commuting between an asylum ship and the quay.
The government will rent three cruise ships for the reception of asylum seekers, Van der Burg said in a letter to the House of Representatives on Thursday. Due to the large shortage of reception places for asylum seekers, the government is eagerly looking for new locations. The cruise ships will be moored on the quay, according to Van der Burg.
The ships will not be anchored in open water, “because it is difficult to supply the ships, there are safety risks at sea and it is not possible to set up a shuttle service between the ship and the quay at all times,” writes the state secretary. The plan for reception on the high seas came under heavy criticism from refugee clubs last week. They called it an “absurd idea.” The COA (central body for the reception of asylum seekers) saw the plan: “as COA, we have been trained in difficult jobs, so we are somewhat used to it,” a spokesman said.
The first cruise ship should dock in the municipality of Velsen. But the Quay there is not yet suitable for large cruise ships, so it is questionable whether that will work. The government nevertheless believes that it must be possible to use the ship in Velsen as a reception location as of 1 September. In addition, several municipalities are still in talks about the possibility of mooring the second cruise ship. That should happen by October 1st. Every ship must have room for about a thousand asylum seekers.