The Belgian police on Tuesday removed dozens of tents and other buildings that had been standing in front of the registration center in Brussels for months. The more than a hundred refugees who slept in it are taken in other places. The evacuation follows less than a month after the major action in which more than a hundred refugees were taken out of a cracked building.
The improvised tent camp stood at The Little Castle, in the middle of the Belgian capital. That is also the place where the asylum seekers must report before they can enter the asylum process in the country.
People for whom there was no place in the regular shelter had been sleeping on the bridge and on the quay for months. It was mainly about men. The Belgian reception organizations tried to arrange as much space as possible for women and minors.
According to the Belgian government, there is now also enough space for the people who were still sleeping on the street. Therefore, the area around the tent camp was closed and the more than a hundred residents were taken away by buses. Forty of them got a place at Fedasil, the organisation responsible for the care in Belgium. The rest must first wait in an emergency shelter location until there is room.
The tents were removed immediately to prevent new people from sleeping.
“We hope that this time all the residents of the tent camp will finally enjoy shelter and that attention will also be paid to the rest of the asylum seekers who are still living on the streets elsewhere,” says Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen.
The Organization refers to the evacuation of the squat last month. About a thousand asylum seekers and homeless people stayed in the building on Paleizenstraat. They lived there for weeks in unsanitary and unsafe conditions.
The evacuation was chaotic and there was no room for all the people sent away. Also, there were not enough buses to take all the refugees away. As a result, some of them ended up in the tent camp at the Small Castle.
Belgium, like the Netherlands, has a shortage of places for refugees. The country is therefore fully committed to more reception locations. At the same time, the country is also looking at how the asylum system can be better set up.