All refugees have a story—often an incredible one—of the events that led them to flee their homes and seek safety in a foreign land. When they arrive—if they ever arrive—somewhere safe, that story will determine their future. Asylum is granted to the refugee whose story compels the host nation to offer relief. Ralph Severijns, a Dutch legal scholar, has studied the moment of this encounter in the Dutch asylum process, when the refugee tells his story and the state must listen—reading the story of the refugee to determine his legal fate.
Following are excerpts from Zoeken naar zekerheid (Search for Certainty), (Wolters Kluwer, 2019). Page numbers from the original are marked on the right margin, preceding each excerpt.
1 March, 2022