Over the past few years, Denmark has taken a number of largely controversial measures to discourage immigration and restrict minorities in the country. In particular, as of 2019, it has become the first country in the European Union to deny some Syrian refugees a residence permit. After he announced As a safe zone in Damascus, the capital of Syria, where a 10-year civil war has forced millions of people to leave the country.
Since then, the Danish government has begun reviewing thousands of residency permits for Syrians who have arrived in Denmark since the beginning of the war. Tell The The New York TimesThere are more than 250 people whose permits have been canceled or not renewed. These people – many of whom learned the Danish language during their stay and found a job – would theoretically be forced to return to Syria, where according to most experts and international organizations, the situation is not safe, and those who return face the risk of imprisonment and torture. Or killed. Moreover, those who return to Syria often no longer even have a home to return to, given that many inhabited centers have been destroyed by the war.
However, the Danish government does not have diplomatic relations with Syria or cooperation agreements with the Syrian authorities, so those who lose their residence permit and do not want to leave are automatically sent to Repatriation centersThe Syrians can stay there for several months without any possibility of what will happen to them.
Since 2011, some 34,000 refugees from Syria have arrived in Denmark – a country of 5.8 million people. Among them, and among those forced to leave, there are university workers and students, as well as volunteers from non-governmental organizations. Sometimes they are young people who remember very little of their life in Syria, and in general people who have built a new life in Denmark. The The New York Times He spoke of a case of a divided family, as the parents’ permit to stay in Denmark had not been renewed, while children between the ages of 20 and 22 did.
Already in 2015 in Denmark, the duration of residence permits for refugees was reduced from 5-7 years to 1-2 years, and the possibility of revoking refugee status was introduced even in the event of very slight improvements in the political status of refugees. Countries of origin of migrants. The measures also affected other minorities in the country, and since then, for example, hundreds of Somalis in Denmark have lost refugee status.
In 2019, what was called “Quantum leap“, In which Denmark has moved significantly from the integration model to the homecoming model. Government He said Considering the city of Damascus strictly under the control of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and therefore it is believed that there is no danger for Syrians to return to that area. In fact, the situation in Syria and Damascus was not stable and the war continues today.
Various international human rights organizations They explained Those who have returned to Syria from other countries in recent years have often been arrested, detained, and forced to provide information about the whereabouts of other family members, and in some cases have been tortured. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, many of them are simply Go.
Also read: Syria ten years later
With measures taken, fewer refugees arrived in Denmark in the last year than there remained. However, the current government remains dissatisfied, and Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in January that the goal was “to have no asylum seekers”. Minister of Immigration, Matthias Tesfai offered large sums to those who voluntarily decided to return to Syria.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, I recommend Denmark has changed immigration policy several times, in accordance with international standards and European Union standards that oblige states to welcome people fleeing the war and allow family reunification, among other things.
According to many observers, the government’s goal is to make Denmark a less welcoming place for immigrants. This policy, initiated by the previous conservative government, has been maintained by the current center-left government led by the Social Democrats, perhaps with the aim of attracting a portion of the center-right electorate.
In 2018, a series of laws also went into effect to regulate the lives of people identified as “non-Westerners” who live in so-called “ghettos”, a term used by Danish legislation to define neighborhoods with economic and social seriousness. Difficulty: Among these, was the obligation of immigrant children to attend courses on “Danish values” and reduce affordable housing for families from non-Western countries. In March of this year, the government proposed a law to reduce the concentration of non-Western people in ghettos and to avoid creating what it calls religious and cultural “parallel societies”, in contrast to traditional Danish law.