In exceptional circumstances, the so-called protection policy for special categories of asylum seekers can apply to asylum seekers from a particular country, a particular region or a particular community. This decision must be made on the level of the national government.
One of the reasons for the protection policy for special categories can be violation of human rights or the poor security situation in a particular region or for a particular group in the population. The Netherlands will also consider what position is taken up by other European countries.
Initially, the regular procedures are observed, which means that the IND checks whether an applicant qualifies on personal grounds. If this is not the case, they can still qualify on the basis of the protection policy for special categories (provided there are no contra-indications, like criminal behaviour). If the situation improves in the country of origin, the protection policy for special categories is lifted and the residence permits for people in that group are declared invalid. Subsequently, asylum seekers who do not qualify on personal grounds will have to leave the Netherlands.
In the case of asylum seekers from Central Iraq, the protection policy for special categories was lifted in November 2008. Since May 2009, this also applies to people from Central and South Somalia.