FECL 30 (December 1994/January 1995):
On 1 December, the Dutch parliament adopted a new asylum law, introducing the term of "safe third countries". Holland has land borders with Belgium and Germany. Under the new law, asylum seekers having travelled through these countries can be turned away upon arrival at the Dutch border. Appeals against deportation orders will no longer cause the deportation to be suspended.
Following the introduction of restrictive asylum legislation by Germany, the number of asylum seekers in the Netherlands had almost doubled to 55,000 this year. The Dutch government hopes that the new law will lead to a reduction of applications to earlier levels.
The new law that bars all asylum seekers coming by land from access to an asylum procedure, together with stringent control measures at airports, have drawn heavy criticism. Henceforth, it is pointed out, refugees who wish to seek protection in Holland had better jump from a plane by parachute.
Sources: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 4/5.12.94, our sources.