Netherlands: End of categorical protection policy for Iraq

The Government has endorsed a proposal tabled by Justice State Secretary Nebahat Albayrak to end the categorical protection policy for asylum seekers from Central Iraq.

Recent information received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs shows that the security situation in Iraq is improving.

The termination of the categorical protection policy means that all asylum application cases will be judged on individual merits.

Special attention will be given to ‘vulnerable minority groups’ such as Iraqi Christians, Mandaeans, Yezidis and Palestinians. Asylum cases involving Iraqi homosexuals will also especially focus on their specific safety and human rights situation in Iraq.

The termination also means that all cases in which asylum seekers have received a residence permit for a fixed period will be reassessed. European approach

The United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden also no longer have a special policy for asylum seekers of Iraqi nationality.

The Justice State Secretary tabled a number of proposals for a coordinated approach within the European Union at the asylum conference held in Paris on 8 and 9 September 2008.