Photo project Let's Talk Safett

A change is needed: refugees speak up about safety in Dutch Asylum Centers (AZCs)

Discrimination, harassment and gender-based violence are persistent issues lurking in the shadows of the Dutch asylum system. 

In response to these issues, and their underrepresentation in policies and research, Fairspace, with funding from Share-Net International, initiated the Let’s Talk Safety project to work towards integrating the perspectives of asylum seekers and refugees into the policies and practices concerning safety in Dutch asylum centers. The project recruited a group of participants from different backgrounds who were currently living in or previously lived in AZCs to discuss their experiences and collaborate on designing solutions. 

The outcome is this policy brief, “Lessons from the inside: Participatory Solutions for Safer Dutch Asylum Seeker Centers (AZCs)” which addresses the challenges and dangers that asylum seekers and refugees face in Dutch asylum centers (AZCs), the causes and impact of harassment and Gender-Based Violence in this context as well as potential opportunities for change and solutions informed by the target community’s personal experiences.

The policy brief focuses on two areas where change is needed which, based on extensive discussions, have the potential to prevent harassment and violence in AZCs:

  1. Improving asylum seeker’s knowledge and accessibility to rights;
  2. Improving standardization and accountability throughout COA through consistent independent monitoring and evaluation procedures

Download the full policy brief.