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Dutch Council
for Refugees



The Dutch Council for Refugees (VluchtelingenWerk Nederland) is an independent organisation that represents and defends the interests of refugees and asylum seekers through lobby, diplomacy, the media, research, international cooperation and consulting with colleagues and supporters. We devote our efforts to promoting the fair and just treatment of those in a vulnerable position: those who are evicted from home because of war, political violence, their sexual orientation, race and/or religion.

Support in the field of migration

The Dutch Council for Refugees supports refugees in building a new life in the Netherlands. With a widespread network of both paid staff and over 13.000 volunteers throughout the country, the Dutch Council for Refugees is the only organisation in the Netherlands that offers support to refugees throughout all stages of the asylum application to becoming residents here. Those who haven't been granted asylum or another kind of residence permit can also contact DCR. We provide assistance to  refugees who are looking to build a new future and explore the possibilities of return after their application for asylum is denied.













Does the ERSO member offer pre-departure counseling?

DCR offers pre-departure counselling. In building a future in their country of origin, rejected asylum seekers may struggle with doubts and the practical obstacles of return. Together with our clients, the Dutch Council for Refugees will explore possible solutions and look for ways to build a future in the country of origin. Some of our clients will indeed decide to return and some will not, either choosing to stay in the Netherlands illegally or pursuing asylum through repeated applications. DCR aims to enable people to take a well informed decision and is here to guide them through the process of making a decision.


DCR can also facilitate contact with a partner organisation in the country of origin via Skype or phone. This way, returnees are enabled to discuss practical issues relevant to their individual circumstances, such as access to housing in a specific village or city, access to work or the possible establishment of contact with relatives.


The Dutch Council for Refugees can also bring clients in contact with other organisations in the Netherlands supporting to those who want to return.

What kind of reintegration assistance does the ERSO member offer to returnees? 

The Dutch Council for Refugees offers (former) asylum seekers individual in-kind support which they receive after arrival. A small cash amount is also given as to provide for the expenses made during the first few days after arrival. In a number of countries DCR works together with partner organisations that can assist and support returnees to allow them to return in a safe and dignified manner with prospects for their future. The local partner organisation can, for example, assist in job placement, setting up a business or finding proper education. For a year after his/her return, the returnee is regularly contacted by the Dutch Council for Refugees or its partner in the country of origin to monitor the returnee’s reintegration process.

Target group of the ERSO member (in the context of return and reintegration)

The target group of the Dutch Council for Refugees' return counselling service is rejected asylum seekers who wish to return to their country of origin.


We can continue our work thanks to the support of thousands of donors and volunteers. We also receive funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the government and a number of funds. Our international projects are mainly funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EU.

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