Opening an asylum seekers' centre: always together with the municipality
We regularly consult with municipalities about the reception capacity in relation to the asylum influx and occupation of the asylum seekers' centres. We do that one-on-one or via the provincial coordination meetings.
To establish an asylum seekers' centre or a small-scale housing facility, we draft a management agreement with the municipality, containing agreements, among other things, on the number of reception places and the duration of establishment.
Education for children
Children of asylum seekers go to school as soon as possible. We make arrangements with the municipality on education for asylum seekers' children. To accommodate the primary education for asylum seekers' children, municipalities can rely on a financial arrangement.
Financial compensation exists for municipalities with a COA reception centre, for example to replace revenues from the Municipal Fund and the property tax.
Life in and round an asylum seekers' centre
Asylum seekers reside and live independently in an asylum seekers' centre. They do their houskeeping, take their children to school and go to interviews with the IND, COA, DT&V and the Dutch Council for Refugees. In addition, they prepare themselves for their future with programmes or volunteer work at the location.
The COA is responsible for the physical and social safety of the reception centres. Consequently, caring for them has a high priority. We give information on this and asylum seekers sign house rules which they must comply to. If the house rules are violated, the COA takes disciplinary measures. The COA employs security guards. They staff the reception desk and patrol the grounds.
In case of incidents in the reception centres that can have consequences for public order, we initially inform the police, and if necessary the mayor.
Housing of asylum permit holders: early integration
Asiylum seekers with an asylum residence permit become part of Dutch society. The Central Government determines every six months the number of asylum permit holders that municipalities must house: the municipal mandate.
The COA links asylum permit holders to municipalities. In doing so, we note where the most suitable ones are located for them to integrate well. While asylum permit holders wait in an asylum seekers' centre for housing in the municipality, they can already participate in the preliminary civic integration programme of the COA.