What is the list of safe countries of origin?

The Netherlands has drawn up a list of safe countries of origin. The list is not fixed: countries can be added or removed.

Dutch list of safe countries of origin

The list includes countries where, according to the Dutch government, the following are not practiced:

  • persecution on the grounds of, for instance, race of religion;
  • torture;
  • inhuman treatment.

The following countries appear on the list:

  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vatican City

The list is not fixed: countries can be added or removed, depending on how safe a country is.

Why is a list of safe countries necessary?

The Netherlands faces an increased influx of asylum seekers, for instance, from North Africa and the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia). Most, however, do not qualify for protection. The government therefore wishes to speed up the processing of asylum applications from this category of individuals.

The European Union is also working on a list of safe countries. It is not yet known when that list will be completed. So for now, the Netherlands has drawn up its own list.

Other EU member states have their own lists of safe countries of origin.