Date of Award

Spring 4-4-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution


Historical & Political Studies; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Amy Cox


The refugee crisis in the European Union has acted as a test for the domestic policies of its member states. This is especially true for the Netherlands. Expecting a large influx of refugees, the Netherlands reevaluated its refugee policies. Consequently, the government decided to close down regional asylum shelters, and discontinue what was informally recognized as the bed-bath-bread regulation. The new refugee policy taking its place would create reception centers for asylum applicants and failed asylum seekers working on a process for voluntary return. The new policy would force any failed asylum seeker thought to be in noncompliance with voluntary return measures and any unregistered migrants, to the streets. This protocol makes these individuals homeless, and creates a variety of negative effects and costs for the state. Also, it fails to implement any mechanism that actually ensures return. This paper analyzes the new refugee policy, and highlights both desirable and undesirable outcomes. It then provides alternatives, and discusses the costs and benefits of each. A recommendation is then provided. The reopening of the shelters along with a failed asylum seeker contribution plan is recommended as it provides the least amount of costs for the state, and allows for monitoring of these individuals along with accessibility to government support.