This week, a Dutch report with the title that translates to ‘nothing is what it seems’ came out. The report presents detailed research into the Eritrean community and organisations in the Netherlands and the influence of the long arm of the Eritrean regime on it. Additionally, it covers the subject of problems of integration and participation. Following the report, the Dutch government responded with a letter, which details measures to weaken the influence of the regime and to stop the involuntary payment of 2% diaspora tax.
The measures of the Dutch government to prohibit the diaspora tax refer the the UN Security Council resolution 2023, which states that the diaspora tax is illegal when collected through the use of force, extortion or fraud, or when it is financing particular military goals. These measures are supported by the findings of the new report, which show that fear and mistrust are widespread in the Eritrean community in the Netherlands.
The report also highlights the three different migration waves that came to the Netherlands. Of the three waves, the most concerns related to integration relate to the recent refugees, that have arrived from around 2010. This group experiences most trouble with integration due to issues such as trauma and debt from their journey. The fear and mistrust in the community hampers the integration of Eritreans, the report concludes.
In addition, the claim that Eritreans are not filing any police reports is not true, according to the report.
The Dutch government acknowledges the findings of the report and provides the steps they have taken and are planning to take, including a point of contact for Eritreans to file reports of extortion and abuse. It also includes the promise to commission an investigation into the diaspora tax in other European countries. Furthermore, the Dutch government acknowledges that extensions of the Eritrean regime, such as the Young PFDJ – the youth movement of the Eritrean regime – should not be allowed to interfere with the life of Eritreans.