Who are we and what do we do?


The Dutch Council for Refugees (VluchtelingenWerk Nederland) is an independent organisation that represents and defends the interests of refugees and asylum seekers through lobby, diplomacy, the media, research, international cooperation and consulting with colleagues and supporters. We devote our efforts to promoting the fair and just treatment of those in a vulnerable position: those who are evicted from home because of war, political violence, their sexual orientation, race or religion.


The Dutch Council for Refugees helps them make a success of their new life in the Netherlands. With a widespread network of paid staff and volunteers throughout the country, the Dutch Council for Refugees is the only organisation in the Netherlands that offers support to refugees throughout all the various stages of their becoming residents here. Those who haven't been granted asylum or another kind of residence permit can also contact DCR. We can help them with the next steps. We work with more than 13.000 volunteers.

The Dutch Council for Refugees is funded by:


Thanks to the support of thousands of donors and volunteers, we can continue our work. We also receive funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the government and a number of funds. Our international projects are mainly funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EU (AMIF).

Target group of the ERSO member (in the context of return and reintegration): 

The target group of the Dutch Council for Refugees' return counselling service is rejected asylum seekers who wish to return to their country of origin.

Does the ERSO member offer pre-departure counselling?


DCR offers pre-departure counselling. When thinking about a future in their country of origin, rejected asylum seekers may feel some doubts and there can be practical obstacles. The Dutch Council for Refugees will explore possible solutions together with clients. Some of our clients will decide to return and some will not. DCR aims to enable people to take a well informed decision. We are there to guide them in this process.

DCR can also facilitate contact with a partner organisation in the country of origin via Skype or telephone. In this way the returnee can learn about practical issues relevant for the individual return, for example access to housing in a specific village, access to work or establishment of contact to relatives.

The Dutch Council for Refugees can also bring clients in contact with other organisations in the Netherlands who offer support to those who want to return.


What kind of reintegration assistance does the ERSO member offer to returnees?


Pre-departure counselling


The Dutch Council for Refugees offers pre-departure counselling and guidance for (rejected) asylum seekers who explore the possibilities for return so that they can make a well-considered choice concerning their future.
DCR provides returnees with information on the re-integration budget and helps them create a plan of action. Together with an assistant from DCR the returnee discusses the options of support offered by various organisations. The returnee himself chooses the one that best fits his situation.


Assisted voluntary return


The Dutch Council for Refugees offers (former) asylum seekers individual in-kind support after arrival. In a number of countries DCR works together with partner organisations that can assist returnees and guide them so they can return in a safe, dignified manner with prospects for their future. The local partner organisation can for example assist in job placement, setting up a business or finding proper education. The Dutch Council for Refugees contacts the returnee through the partner organisation a number of times for one year after their return in order to monitor the returnee's reintegration process.


Partners in the context of voluntary return and reintegration:


National level: IOM, relevant municipalities, NGOs involved in voluntary return programs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign AffairsEU level: ERSO members Countries of origin: ERSO local partners (NGO´s)

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