Denmark extends border control to deter refugees

Danish Ministry of Immigration, Integration and Housing says it is extending border control with Germany for 20 days to deter further influx of refugees

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Danish police patrol the German-Danish border crossing at Padborg Denmark near Flensburg, northern Germany, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.

The Danish government decided on Tuesday to extend temporary control over the country's border with Germany by 20 days to February 23, Minister for Immigration, Integration and Housing Inger Stojberg told reporters in parliament.

Stojberg said the government assessed there was still a possibility that large numbers of refugees might come to Denmark. Control over the Danish border with Germany was necessary because Sweden had also imposed border control, she said.

Danish lawmakers on last Tuesday passed measures aimed at limiting refugee rights, as some laws include the confiscation of valuables and three years of family reunification delays.

The bill was passed with an overwhelming majority, backed by the main centre-left opposition party Social Democrats, despite opposing voices from small left-wing parties, including from Red Green Alliance.

Denmark recently tightened its borders, but the country believes the new laws are still necessary to limit the flow of refugees.

The proposal which allows police to seize valuables and cash from refugees to help pay for their stay in asylum centres has produced international outrage, rights activists have also criticised a three-year-delay policy for family reunifications on the grounds that it breaches international conventions.

Denmark had 21,000 asylum applications in 2015, putting it far behind the 163,000 registered in neighbouring Sweden.

The country received international criticism on last Tuesday’s vote from refugee agency UNHCR, claiming it violates the European Convention on Human Rights, the UN Refugee Convention and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

TRTWorld, Reuters