Repatriation and Departure Service celebrates 10 years

‘The government is strongly committed to European cooperation in preventing and solving conflicts which give rise to migration. The Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) makes an important contribution to this. The service plays a leading role in Europe, and demonstrates this through its contribution to the pools of repatriation experts within the European Border and Coast Guard Agency', said Minister for Migration Mark Harbers today at the opening of the symposium to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Ministry of Security and Justice’s DT&V.

Harbers: ‘I hope that we will see a trend in which people who cannot stay here legally and must go back can lead a decent and happy life in their own environment. The basic principle for illegal migrants and rejected asylum seekers is and remains independent, voluntary repatriation. The Repatriation and Departure Service can provide support in this regard.’ 

As a professional repatriation organisation, the Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) enforces return policy. The DT&V coordinates the departure of foreign nationals who do not have the right to stay in the Netherlands. Together with other government services and civic organisations, the DT&V strives to ensure that foreign nationals return to their countries of origin as independently and with as much perspective as possible. DT&V staff members act with care and respect for the dignity of foreign nationals. The basic principle is that foreign nationals are given the opportunity to return independently, with or without help from the DT&V and other civic and social organisations. The DT&V thus contributes to security, social balance and support for Dutch admission policy.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the DT&V, the book De weg terug (‘The Way Back’) was published, written by Mariette Middelbeek. Minister Harbers received the first copy today. In De weg terug, Repatriation and Departure Service staff members talk about what they experience every day in carrying out their work: from complicated cases involving children to people with an unknown nationality, and from criminal foreign nationals to meetings at embassies to organise repatriation. The book offers a glimpse into the world of the DT&V and teaches us not only about the complexity of the work, but also about the enjoyable side of it. 

Participants in the international symposium to mark the 10-year anniversary of the DT&V – such as ambassadors, European Commission officers, mayors, and officers from European migration agencies, IOM, UNHCR, NGOs and immigration services – exchanged ideas on key developments relating to migration, with a particular focus on international collaboration in the fight against illegal migration and the current trends and issues in this area.