The Danish Parliament has given the green light this Thursday to a bill that allows the Nordic nation to send people who request asylum to the Government of Copenhagen outside the countries of the European Union.
Those affected would remain in those centers while their future is decided . The measure is the latest anti-immigration initiative of the government of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. The law aims to deter migrants from traveling to the rich Nordic country.
The law has passed the legislative chamber vote without obstacles, with 70 votes in favor and 24 against , thanks to the support of the right and extreme right and with the opposition of some left-wing parties. “If a person applies for asylum in Denmark he must know that he will be sent to a country outside of Europe. We hope that in this way people will stop seeking asylum in our country, ” said the government party’s immigration spokesman, Rasmus Stoklund.
No deal closed
The Danish Minister of Integration and Immigration, Mattias Tesfaye, has assured that the reform is legal and that the agreements that Denmark establishes with third countries will respect “the international obligations” of his country.
Tesfaye recently admitted that there is still no deal closed and that the Danish authorities are in talks with up to a dozen countries. The Danish press has mentioned Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea or Rwanda , as possible recipient countries.
The center-left Danish government currently applies one of the most restrictive migration policies in Europe . The goal is to reach “zero refugees”. That policy includes the withdrawal of residence permits for Syrians whose regions of origin are currently in safe areas. It also aims to toughen anti-“ghetto” law , which limits the number of “non-Western” inhabitants in the neighborhoods.
Irresponsible and lacking in solidarity
Opponents of this law are concerned that the plan affects the safety and well-being of refugees and compromises their human rights , as well as allowing Denmark to evade its obligations within the EU. “The idea of outsourcing the asylum process is irresponsible and lacking in solidarity,” Charlotte Slente, general secretary of the Danish Refugee Council, an NGO, told Reuters.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) asked Denmark last month not to approve the bill, as it said it could drag other EU countries to do the same . “UNHCR remains strongly opposed to outsourcing initiatives that forcibly transfer asylum seekers to other countries,” UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner Gillian Triggs said in May. “These practices undermine the rights of those seeking safety and protection, demonize and punish them, and can put their lives at risk,” Triggs said.
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