Worldwide, approximately sixty million people are fleeing war and violence.
Many seek refuge close to home; often in their own country or in neighbouring countries where life is safer. A number of them eventually apply for asylum in Europe. Those who apply for asylum in the Netherlands, arrive at the IND. The IND checks each asylum application against the rules of the policy on foreign nationals. This is a heavy responsibility, as our decisions have a considerable impact on people's lives. Therefore, we listen closely to each story and treat each application with due care and with due regard for everyone's personal situation. Because, anyone who has a right to protection, has to be able to count on us.
When it is unsafe somewhere in the world, we frequently notice this at the IND. When fleeing from violence, people also seek protection in the Netherlands. However, not everyone who applies for asylum, qualifies for this. The 1951 Convention on Refugees, also signed by the Netherlands, sets out who qualifies for protection and asylum. In addition, European conventions and agreements offer protection to persons fleeing from violence. Each asylum application that is submitted in the Netherlands is checked by the IND against the policy on foreign nationals. We do this carefully and with an open mind towards the person behind the application. This way, we offer protection to those who need it and we quickly inform people who cannot stay here what their status is. They then, too, can again focus on their future.
Each person is unique. At the IND, we know as no other that: each asylum seeker comes to the Netherlands with his own story. This story is the starting point of each application, we therefore do everything we can to create a safe environment in which every applicant gets the attention he deserves. For some persons this means we have to go the extra mile. For example, when it involves children who have come to the Netherlands without their parents. Or, people who have experienced such bad things that it has left them traumatised. They sometimes need extra support to properly tell their story. This is why we offer tailor-made support and take everyone's needs into account. Thus, we make sure that everyone knows they are being heard and seen. Sometimes children without parents (Only available in Dutch) come to the Netherlands to apply for asylum. They have interviews at the IND with specially trained staff members in a child-friendly room.
During wartime, there can be a fine line between offender and victim. To keep our asylum procedure transparent, we structurally investigate war crimes in conflict areas and maintain a close eye on who enters our country. We work together in this with the police and intelligence services. After all, asylum is for victims, not offenders.
The IND has a team of specialists trained to recognise and combat war criminals. Read more about their activities (Only available in Dutch).
Read more about the European approach to war criminals (Only available in Dutch).