Refugees in the Netherlands are angry because they have to clean their own toilets – Call Syrian prisons a better place


Inhabitants of a Dutch asylum centre in Alkmaar are angry about the building’s new cleaning policy, Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant reports. The refugees now have to clean their own toilets and need a key to visit their own toilet block.

“They want us to clean our own toilets on our knees,” says Ahmad from Palestine. Another migrant says: “Even Syria’s prisons are better!” Bystanders laugh about it. Abu Barak from Syria tells the newspaper he is “in shock” and asks: “Is this the Netherlands?”

The toilets in the facility have no toilet paper as refugees use water for cleaning. They bring watering cans with them and as a result faeces spread through the room.

Spokeswoman of the asylum centre, Alet Bouwmeester, says the new cleaning policy has to do with bad hygiene in the toilets: “The idea is that by making persons responsible, things will improve. When you go to a toilet you leave it behind in a clean state, that’s part of our programme”.

Migrants are also unhappy with the accommodation’s new key system. A woman with a headscarf, called Waed, says: “I have two children, sometimes they urgently need a toilet and how do we have to do that with a key?”

The leaders of the accommodation decided to use the key system after migrants were wandering through the building in search for toilets. Spokeswoman Bouwmeester says they should only use the block in their own section.

As Ahmad calls the municipality he says “this is a dictatorial decision”! He continues: “We are now protesting in a civilised way”.

In two years, the Netherlands accepted more than 32,000 asylum seekers. Most of them come from Syria and Eritrea.

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