Monday, June 10

Topics of the day

Are Human Rights actually Citizens Rights? What does being ‘illegal’ mean in a European country? The detention of undocumented migrants and the recent criminalization of irregular stay is a topic that The Netherlands is much criticized on by international NGO’s. As we write up this booklet, a number of irregular migrants in The Netherlands are on hunger and thirst strike to protest against their detention.

HIA will devote this entire day to refugees and the current situation in The Netherlands. We will start with a brief overview of the current situation in The Netherlands. Amnesty Internationals director Nazarski, our host of this week, will elaborate on Amnesty’s campaign on irregular migrants in The Netherlands. Senior Fellow Tewelde Batha will then share a personal story with us, by taking us back on his journey from Eritrea to The Netherlands, followed by a person who fights for the social and economic rights of undocumented and irregular migrants on a daily basis: lawyer Jelle Klaas.

Senior Fellow Louis Middelkoop will discuss the difficult position of LGBTQI people in the Dutch asylum procedure and actor and theatremaker Bright Richards will talk about his NGO “New Dutch Connections”, which he set up to raise awareness and to bring humanity back to the Dutch asylum procedure. Last but not least, Sander Terphuis, who is at the centre of the current fierce debate in the Labor party about the inhumane treatment of undocumented migrants, will tell us his motivation for doing so.

Amnesty International & HIA office, Keizersgracht 177, Amsterdam
Rosa Parks Room, ground floor

Refugees in the Netherlands

09.00 – 09.30 Introducing the day – Nienke Venema
09.30 –10.15 ‘Welcome to Amnesty: campaigns in The Netherlands’
by Eduard Nazarski, Director Amnesty International NL
10.15 – 11.15 ‘A personal story; fleeing from Eritrea to The Netherlands’
by Tewelde Bahta, HIA Senior Fellow
11.15 – 11.30 Coffee & Tea
11.30 – 13.00 ‘Fighting for human rights within a legal framework’
by Jelle Klaas, lawyer at Fisher Lawyers Haarlem
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch at Amnesty
14.00 – 15.15 ‘Sexual orientation and the asylum procedure’
by Louis Middelkoop, HIA Senior Fellow and Junior Lecturer, Migration Law Department, VU University Amsterdam
15.15 – 16.30 ‘New Dutch Connections’
by Bright Richards, refugee, actor and founder New Dutch Connections
16 .30 – 17.30 ‘Criminalization of irregular migrants in The Netherlands’
by Sander Terphuis, member of Dutch Labor Party
17.30 – 18.30 Wrap up the day, with possible contributions of
Mahdi Al Taher (Iraq) and Cor van der Leemputten (Refugee Church)

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