Denmark: Law on sending asylum seekers out of Europe approved

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A law that allows her to resettle asylum seekers in countries outside Europe was approved today (03/06) by its Parliament Denmark. In doing so, the country has defied calls to abandon its plans to target NGOs and the United Nations, which fears a deterioration in refugee rights.

The move to pass the bill, with 70 deputies voting in favor and 24 against, clearly contradicts the European Union’s efforts to reform European immigration and asylum rules, an extremely divisive issue within the EU.

The bill will allow Denmark to transfer refugees arriving in its territory to asylum centers in another country, probably outside Europe, where asylum seekers’ cases will be reviewed and they will likely be granted protection in that country.

“If you apply for asylum in Denmark, you know that you will be sent to a country outside Europe, so we hope that people will stop seeking asylum in Denmark,” Rasmus Stockloud, a spokeswoman for the ruling Immigration Party, told DR.

The rich Scandinavian country, which has become notorious for its hardcore immigration policies over the past decade, it has targeted zero numbers of asylum seekers and to accept refugees only under the UN quota system.

Denmark has not yet reached an agreement with any country, but Stockland said it is negotiating with several candidate countries.

Critics worry that the plan would undermine the safety and well-being of refugees and endanger their human rights, and that it would allow Denmark to evade its EU obligations.

“The idea of ​​externalizing responsibility for processing asylum seekers’ asylum claims is irresponsible and lacks solidarity,” Charlotte Slende, secretary general of the Danish Refugee Council, said in an email to Reuters.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) last month called on Denmark not to approve the bill, which it said would act as a catalyst in a “bottom-up race” if other European countries began copying Danish policy.

“UNHCR remains strongly opposed to the externalization of initiatives that forcibly transfer asylum seekers to other countries,” Assistant High Commissioner Gillian Triggs said in May, according to the APE-MPE. She added: “Such practices undermine the rights of those seeking security and protection, demonizing and punishing them and may endanger their lives.”

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