Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach to Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States

Central Body for Reception of Asylum Seekers

Policy statements and debates

Resources from Dutch Central Body for Reception of Asylum Seekers (Centraal Orgaan Opvang asielzoekers)

Again, the segment below has been summarily translated by our Dutch Country Collaborator for the Netherlands, Fenya Fischler. The source (in English and in Dutch) is linked below.

COA in beeld, Jaargang 5, Nr 1, Maart 2011

Information on p.3 about resettlement and the new reception procedure since 2011

  • Annually on average 500 refugees are transferred to the Netherlands at the invitation of the Dutch Government.
  • Since 1 January 2011 these refugees are placed in their future home in the municipalities immediately after arrival in the Netherlands.
  • Before they were received and supported by the COA from 4-6 months in the central reception Amersfoort
  • Municipalities now provide the facilities for the refugees, such as education, doctors and social support.
  • The knowledge and expertise of the COA is now used in other ways. The training resettled refugees receive before transfer to the Netherlands has been extended. In addition the knowledge of COA about resettled refugees is now shared in different ways with the municipalities.
  • In 2011 ten workshops are organised by COA for municipalities which are interested in received resettled refugees. In addition the COA is establishing a knowledge center where municipalities can find answers to their questions. These activities are co-financed by the European Refugee Fund.
  • The COA develops a transfer dossier in collaboration with the municipalities. This dossier will include level of education, skills etc. On the basis of these dossiers the relevant employers etc will be contacted and the necessary support can be assessed.
  • Refugees are usually placed in the municipalities in group of approximately 20 persons. This way they can offer each other support and it is practical for the municipalities to arrange things for families of refugees.
  • This is also a way for municipalities to fulfil their duty to house a number of “new Dutch” annually.
  • After selection the COA offers three cultural orientation training of each 6-7 half days. During the training refugees receive general information about life in the Netherlands, information about where they will be placed and specific information about their home and environment.
  • There has been a change in the type of refugees that are being resettled. Before these were mostly refugees who has spent years in refugee camps. Now resettled refugees are generally from urban areas.
  • In 2011 there are  missions and trainings in Kenya, Nepal, Lebanon, Sudan and Thailand.