Better safety monitoring at residential institutions and boarding schools

The government aims to introduce new statutory rules for all residential institutions and boarding schools, including those affiliated with mosques, as of 1 July 2015. Municipalities will monitor compliance with the stricter requirements, which are intended to improve the safety and welfare of children at these institutions. Under the new rules, these institutions will be subject to visits by the Municipal Health Service at least once a year.

Following a proposal by the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Lodewijk Asscher, the cabinet has decided to send a bill to this effect to the House of Representatives. Under the new rules all residential institutions and boarding schools must have a confidential adviser and all staff members must have a certificate of conduct. With the introduction of this legislation, all municipalities and institutions will work under the same rules. This way the schools will know what is expected of them and it will be easier for municipal authorities to monitor them.

The rules apply to all private residential institutions including, for instance, homes for victims of Romeo pimps ('loverboys'). They are based largely on the rules that currently apply to boarding schools for bargemen's children. Voluntary agreements were already made last year with municipalities and boards of Turkish-Dutch boarding schools to improve the safety and welfare of children at these institutions.