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N-VA proposal on stowing away voted down: “The attitude of the majority is completely incomprehensible”
The N-VA parliamentary group requested a vote on the bill to make climbing into and stowing away in a vehicle, vessel or train punishable by law. Although several majority parties have recognised the problem of stowing away in the past, the majority voted against the N-VA bill. “This proposal could have created a dissuasive effect and given the police and the judiciary more clout in the fight against human trafficking,” MP Christoph D’Haese said.
For some years, transmigrants, migrants who travel on from the first country of arrival in the Schengen area to another country, have been a serious problem for seaports and their staff, as well as for transport companies and lorry drivers. Incidents are numerous.
Do as I say, not as I do
After the N-VA bill to criminalise stowing away had already been discussed six times, it was voted on in committee on Wednesday. Although several majority parties have recognised the issue of stowing away in the past, the entire majority voted against the bill. Nevertheless, Minister of Justice Van Quickenborne promised to make stowing away in motorway car parks a criminal offence as well. The Open VLD previously submitted a bill that was almost identical in content, but it apparently lacked the courage to actually put it into practice. Do as I say, not as I do: unfortunately, not for the first time the leitmotif of this government.
Christoph D’Haese regrets the missed opportunity. “This proposal could have created a dissuasive effect and given the police and the judiciary more clout in the fight against human trafficking. The attitude of CD&V and Open VLD in this - especially after their earlier pleas for punishment and dissuasion - is completely incomprehensible, given the increasing insecurity, the damage inflicted on the transport economy and the potentially high risk of human tragedy.”