Pakistani Christians designated as “high risk group” by the Dutch government.
According to media reports, the Dutch government made an announcement that Pakistani Christians will be designated as a “high risk group.” Designation of Pakistani Christians as a “high risk group” would open the door for them to receive special considerations as refugees in Holland.
As per reports, thousands of religious minorities fled Pakistan due to ever increasing religious persecution. Many of these Pakistanis have taken asylum in the Netherlands. Due to designation as a high risk group, these Pakistanis will have access to further protections under the Dutch government.
The Middle East Forum for Development (MEFD) and British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) on the other hand, had organised a Special Hearing in March 2014, at the Dutch House of Representatives. During this hearing they insisted for special status to be given to the Christians in Pakistan. They further urged the Dutch Members of Parliament to take effective steps to protect the persecuted Christians in Pakistan.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a report in November 2014 on the status of religious minorities in Pakistan. The change in asylum policy for Pakistani Christians was announced on December 18. The chair of the House of Representatives in The Hague was informed that if a Pakistani Christian reports being persecuted because of his faith, the government will accelerate the process to issue them an asylum permit.