Situation in notorious squat in Schaerbeek, where up to 1,000 people live, is “disturbing” | Interior

For months, aid organizations have been complaining about the appalling situation in the squat in the Paleizenstraat. Hundreds of asylum seekers, homeless people and people in illegal residence are staying there.

State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor promised in December to systematically evacuate asylum seekers from the squat and to give them a reception place in the Fedasil network. On Thursday, the CD&V State Secretary tweeted that Fedasil has now identified 100 asylum seekers who are entitled to reception. Of these, 84 have moved to shelters. “It seems that there are many people who are not asylum seekers.”

According to Magali Clerbaux of the French-speaking Red Cross, there are now 900 to 1,000 people in the building. “There are no official lists. But we do see during our medical consultations that three quarters of them have submitted an asylum application.”

She says the situation needs to be addressed urgently. “Physically, there is scabies and diphtheria. The situation also weighs mentally. Tensions are rising and there is more violence. There are also only two showers and three toilets,” says Clerbaux.

The French-speaking branch of the Red Cross has placed an emergency medical station at the building for several weeks. “We provide medical treatments in a container in front of the building. We see about 40 people there every day,” says Clerbaux. Employees no longer enter the building itself “because our own safety can no longer be guaranteed”.