The 2020 declaration left asylum seekers with no choice in sharing their personal information with third parties (including the Dutch police) or not
Translated by Adriana Dancu
The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) has for years unlawfully shared information about hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers in the Netherlands with the police, reports the NOS. This was revealed in a draft letter, seen by the NRC newspaper, to the House of Representatives from Ferdinand Grapperhaus (Minister of Justice, CDA) and Ankie Broekers-Knol (State Secretary for Justice, VVD).
The letter to the House states that this illegal data transfer will now be definitively stopped. However, the Ministry of Justice and Security refused to respond to NRC’s questions, arguing that it first want to inform the House about this subject. The two ministers have not yet said how they will compensate the victims of the affair, which breaks not only Dutch privacy law but also EU laws and is also possibly a breach of human rights conventions.
It is said that the asylum seekers’ details sharing took place for at least seven years. All details of residents of asylum seekers were shared by the COA with the Nationaal Vreemdelingen Knooppunt, among which were personal information such as religion, ethnicity, name, age and country of origin, which is against the law.
It is unknown what the police did with this data. Since they were obtained illegally, they must now be erased from all police systems, but it is unknown whether this has already happened.
Interestingly, just after arrival, asylum seekers received a declaration of consent from COA employees. The declaration stated that the COA shares personal details with the police, and that medical information could also be shared with relevant organizations. According to NRC, only ‘yes’ could be ticked on the April 2020 declaration form. Asylum attorneys were unaware of the declaration of consent, however, because asylum seekers signed the form before receiving legal aid.
The article source can be found here.