Summary - Eritrean asylum status holders in the Netherlands

A qualitative study of their flight from Eritrea and their lives in the Netherlands

Original title: "Eritrese statushouders in Nederland"

There are more and more refugees from Eritrea living in the Netherlands; since 2014 Eritreans have become the largest group after Syrian refugees to be granted residency status. There are indications from researchers, support workers, volunteers and local authority officials who have frequent contact with this group that Eritrean asylum status holders are largely adrift from Dutch society.

This report is the result of a qualitative study of Eritrean asylum status holders who have recently settled in the Netherlands, as well as experts who through their work or other involvement are familiar with the position of Eritreans in the Netherlands. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the background and life situation of recently arrived Eritreans, and in particular to present the perspective of asylum status holders themselves. With this in mind we describe their life in Eritrea before fleeing, their experiences during their flight, the sociocultural context within which Eritreans live in the Netherlands, their first steps towards integration in Dutch society and the opportunities and obstacles they encounter along the way.

This study forms part of a project involving a longitudinal cohort study of asylum seekers and asylum status holders. The aim of the project is to map the position of persons who obtained residency status in the Netherlands after 1 January 2014, and to monitor them over time. The project draws on register data, surveys and qualitative research. This study of Eritreans is the first qualitative study to be published as part of this project.