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Undocumented migrants protest for rights in Belgium's capital

Some 200 demonstrators gather in Brussels to press Belgian government for residence, work permits

Ata Ufuk Seker   | 04.08.2021
Undocumented migrants protest for rights in Belgium's capital Irregular migrants stage a demonstration in front of the European Parliament in order to receive a positive response to the session requests in Brussels, Belgium on August 04, 2021. ( Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )

BRUSSELS

Some 200 undocumented migrants staged a protest against the Belgian government in the capital Brussels on Wednesday.

The demonstration was held in Luxembourg Square, in front of the European Parliament, on the call of Coordination des sans-papiers de Belgique, a non-governmental organization working for migrants’ rights.

The protesters carried placards with different messages, including “the only solution is legal regulation.”

The group raised slogans voicing solidarity with undocumented migrants and urged the government to issue them residence permits.

Nearly 150,000 so-called “paperless” people have been residing in Belgium for years without legal residence or work documents.

Some 400 such people have been camping out at a church and a part of a university campus in central Brussels for months in a bid to make the Belgian government address their issues.

The migrants have staged several protests, including a hunger strike, in recent months, as the government has persistently rejected their applications for legal residence and work permits.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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