A UNICEF report published on Friday criticized the Belgian asylum procedure and said it is “a heavy burden” for the refugee children.
The UN agency interviewed 170 refugee children for two years in Belgium and the report said children were dragged from one migration center to another throughout the asylum procedure.
Children speaking to UNICEF officials regarding the issue said: “The asylum process is going very slow. Some of us are waiting since six years for a response. Our education is disrupted because of the uncertainty of our future.”
The report stated majority of the children face difficulties caused by escaping a war and being alone, adding that the uncertainty of their stay in Belgium further complicates the process.
Apart from the lengthy asylum process, the report said accommodation of the children is another issue.
A 10-year-old Chechen girl told UNICEF she is not satisfied with the facilities at the asylum centers.
“The asylum centers are very dirty. There are fights all the time. There is madness at the centers. The disputes are usually between the adult refugees,” she added.
Official data indicates 4,960 children applied for asylum in Belgium in 2016, out of which 1,076 are unaccompanied.