Provision of information on reception

Belgium

Country Report: Provision of information on reception Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen Visit Website

The Reception Act requires Fedasil to provide the asylum seeker with an information brochure on the rights and obligations of the asylum seekers as well as on the competent authorities and organisations that can provide medical, social and legal assistance, in a language he or she understands (see section on Information to Asylum Seekers and Access to NGOs and UNHCR).[1] The brochure “Asylum in Belgium” currently distributed is available in ten different languages[2] and in a DVD version. These brochures are being distributed in the reception facilities.

As for the specific rights and obligations concerning reception conditions, the asylum seeker also receives a copy of the house rules; also available in different languages. According to the Reception Act this should be a general document applicable in all reception facilities and regulated by Royal Decree.[3] In 2018 a Royal decree and a Ministerial Decree were published to this end. (See Sanctions for violation of house rules).

This written information, although handed over to every asylum seeker, is not always adequate or sufficient in practice, since some asylum seekers need to have it communicated to them orally in person or have it repeated several times, inter alia due to the fact that some asylum seekers are illiterate.  

The law foresees that asylum seekers accommodated in one of the reception structures should have access to the interpretation and translation services to exercise their rights and obligations.[4] In practice in many reception structures there are not enough interpreters available, however.

 


[1] Article 14 Reception Act.

[2] Dutch, French, English, Albanian, Russian, Arabic, Pashtu, Farsi, Peul and Lingala, available on the website of Fedasil and of the CGRS: http://bit.ly/2kvQCpP.

[3] Article 19 Reception Act.

[4] Article 15 Reception Act.

 

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation