Refugees’ Right to Family Unity in Belgium and the Netherlands: ‘Life is Nothing without Family’

Mirjam van Reisen, Eva Berends, Lucie Delecolle, Jakob Hagenberg, Marco Trivellato, Naomi Stocker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Although refugees have a right to family reunification, less than a third of Eritrean applications are accepted in the Netherlands. Family reunification is largely inaccessible due to complex legal procedures and the inability of refugees to collect the documents required. This is compounded by the lack of diplomatic relations with Eritrea and the discretionary, and sometimes unjustified, practices of the authorities in both Europe and Eritrea. There is concern that the onerous legal requirements are causing the relatives of refugees to cross borders illegally and make payments for unobtainable documents, as well as fuelling unsafe and dangerous migration trajectories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMobile Africa
Subtitle of host publicationHuman Trafficking and the Digital Divide
Place of PublicationBamenda, Cameroon
PublisherLangaa RPCIG
ISBN (Print)9789956551132
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameConnected and Mobile: Migration and Human Trafficking in Africa


  • Family reunification
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
  • Eritrean refugees
  • Right to family life


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