The rush of migrants never ends in the Netherlands. In order to cope with the situation, asylum seekers are now to be accommodated on a cruise ship. The MS Galaxy was rented by the government for six months and is supposed to accommodate 1000 asylum seekers.
The main purpose of the move is to remedy the overcrowding at the Ter Apel detention center in Groningen, where hundreds of asylum seekers sleep on the grass verge. The aid organization Doctors Without Borders has described this as “inhuman”.
Some refugees who have received a residence permit but have not yet found permanent accommodation are accommodated on the ship. Ten percent of the places are reserved for asylum seekers from “safe countries”. The accommodation agency COA stated that educational and childcare facilities will be available on board.
The number of beds could be increased to 1,500 and the six-month period extended if necessary. The cruise ship should be available for asylum seekers from October. The government is also to fund 2,500 flexible housing units in the city.