An internal survey of Red Cross volunteers in the Netherlands shows that 20 percent of workers are unwilling to care for refugees.
A sample of 1,293 of the approximately 30,000 volunteers in the country answered questions centered around their limits for helping others. One in five stated they would have issues helping refugees in need, giving reasons such as “I’d rather see our borders closed” and “There is nothing for them here,” according to a leaked Red Cross document obtained by Dutch broadcasting network NOS.
The Red Cross has called for a meeting Dec. 15 between leaders from 25 districts in the country to sort out the problem. NOS further reports that the Red Cross will launch a campaign called “Red Cross Volunteers Help Everyone” to firmly state its position on the issue. Several volunteers were dismissed after the survey.
“It has to be clear that people who object to helping on principle can no longer be volunteers for the Red Cross, despite their work up to now,” NOS quotes the internal document saying.
The Red Cross responded to the leaked report by saying it has not had a case where a volunteer refused to assist a refugee on principal. It admitted that actions are taken against some of the respondents.
The Netherlands is expecting 60,000 Syrian refugees to have entered by the end of 2015.
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