LETTER FROM THE STATE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE AND THE STATE SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
To the Chairman of House of Parliament.
's-Gravenhage, 12 July 1996
Here we wish to inform the Chamber about the progress made in carrying out the step by step plan on Asylum Policy during the second quarter of 1996.This report is a continuation on the report made of the first quarter of 1996 that was sent to your Chamber on the 18th April of that year.
In this letter we will mention the most important developments. More detailed information is to be found in the appendices.
We have been exchanging ideas with your Chamber during the previous quarter about Immigration policy, in connection with the Status Notices (statusnotitie) and the policy document. A great number of the (written) questions asked by members of the Chamber, referring to the possible introduction of appeal in Immigration cases have been answered by the Minister and State Secretary of Justice. Your Chamber has agreed to a proposal to increase the penalties for the smuggling of illegal immigrants. A recent memorandum referring to the proposed Linking Act(Koppelingswet) has been sent to your Chamber. The proposal for small scale remedial legislation in connection with the Aliens Act (Leemtewet) has been sent to the Privacy Council (Raad van State) for examination. During this time all those involved have been working hard making good any delays in parts of the step by step plan. Due to these efforts the desired improvements have been generally acheived. Some sections such as policy on repatriation need extra attention.
The Ministrys of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Overseas Development are working toigether on developing an integrated approach to the problems associated with repatriation, as outlined in the letter sent by the State Secretary of Justice on the 23rd of February 1996. During the general consultation about the first quarterly report questions were asked about the results of this policy. This report was made in a letter dated 9th of May of that year, half way through the second quarter, that the State Secretary of Justice and the State Secretary of Foreign Affairs sent. Furthermore there was a consultation with the Chamber on July the 31st of that year concerning the problems arising with the carrying out of Repatriation policy as regards Somalia.
As will be clear from both the information quoted and initial expectations, setting up an integrated policyis a complicated and intractable affair. Efforts continue to be concentrated on completing the components of an integrated policy for a limited number of (African) countries. Negotiations with the authorities of countries of origin is by definition not a matter that can only be controlled by the Netherlands.
Furthermore the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) is resolved to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of Deportation suits. This can be reached by basing the departments associated with expulsion, the IND, the judiciary, legal aid, immigration authorities, the Military Constabulary in the very places where aliens are kept.
Dealing with illegal immigration.
During the debate with the Chamber's permanent commission on justice and foreign affairs on 25th April that year Secretary of State Patijn agreed to further inform commission members about the training courses for consulate staff.
For very long time attention has been paid, in the form if internal training, to aspects of human traffic. As is commonly known standard training for consulate staff consist of courses for staff members who are to be sent out to a post for the first time and more advanced courses for 'experienced' staff members concerning consulate business as regards human traffic. These courses are usually given when a staff member is transferred. At the same time chiefs of staff are given, prior to their being given a position, information regarding to the the main aspects of this field of work. For most posts this information is laid down in their job description.
Now that the problems associated with illegal immigration and cross border criminality are being given increasing importance, and that the fight against them is demanding ever more knowledge and skill, the decision has been made to develop another training module, This module will be given for the first time during the first two weeks of august. This module will be called 'human traffic, issuing visas and combating fraud' and will be targetted at members of staff of posts dealing with the field of human traffic where problems relating to the traffic of aliens can be expected
The purpose of this module is to equip staff with the knowledge and skills needed to assist in the prevention of illegal immigration and cross border crime. More specifically it consists of the following subjects;- the legislation and procedures as regards the issuing of visas;- identification of forged or falsified documents using equipment provided at a consulate;- collection and analysis of information relevant to the illegal passage of aliens, including routes, networks, people, organisations and methods;- establishing contacts with local authorities and the representitives of thrid countries and airlines;- goal orientated interview techniques.
During this course participants will gain insight into relevant parts of legislation and procedures relating to immigration law and the working methods of the IND with the point of being able to provide the IND with whatever information they may need thus relieving the IND of unnecesary work. The module will be given in the form of a five day course during which all the subjects mentioned above will be dealt with. The course will be taught by lecturers from among such departments as the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs the IND the Central Information Office of Police, the Military Constabulary and KLM.
To close with we can report that 63 posts will soon be equipped with retro-check apparatus. These posts are ones that regularly have to deal with false documents. The equipment that is being provided is compact, simple to use and is specially designed to check the authenticity of identity documents, through being ble to check watermarks, stamps, and other proofs of authenticity.