Huge Increase in Violent Incidents at Belgian Asylum Centres Since 2017
The number of violent incidents in Belgian asylum reception centres has doubled since 2017, with half of the total incidents involving physical or verbal assaults on asylum centre workers or other asylum seekers.
A total of 1,281 violent incidents were reported to have occurred in Belgian asylum reception centres last year, double the number from 2017 and a third larger than in 2020, with the increase being attributed to several factors.
Belgium’s Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Sammy Mahdi, stated this week that part of the reason for the increase in incidents was that more incidents were being officially reported but the Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Fedasil) stated that there has also been greater pressure on the asylum system.
Belgium remains a hub of illegal mass migration, which has shifted the demographics of the country to the point that a 2021 report noted that one-third of the residents of the country now come from migration backgrounds or are foreign nationals.