"Bring people to Belgium as part of family reunifications"

Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen, the organisation that defends the interests of refugees, has questioned the asylum and migration secretary's decision to continue to reduce the number of reception places for refugees. The ngo says that the refugee crisis is not at an end.

Secretary Theo Francken on Saturday unveiled plans to cut reception places to levels last seen before the migration crisis. 35,000 beds will be reduced to 16,600 beds.

Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen points to the 65 million people across the globe who are currently refugees. A fraction are heading for Europe and Belgium must take responsibility the organisation says. Director Charlotte Vandycke: "Following the crisis many EU nations closed their external borders. Many refugees are stuck in inhumane conditions outside Europe. On internal borders too many people are living in poor conditions."

Charlotte Vandycke says Belgium must play a leading role and take care of some of these people. Ms Vandycke warns that Belgium should also anticipate future fluctuations in the flow of migrants and refugees. She concedes that unoccupied beds cost “loads of cash” but suggests Belgium could do more by bringing people here as part of family reunifications.

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