Denmark | Controversial refugee transfer plan to Rwanda moves forward
Defence Redefined
Published on 13/09/2022 at 15:02

Denmark’s government announced on Friday (9/9) that it has reached an agreement with Rwanda to move forward with a controversial plan to transfer asylum seekers to the African country.

This plan is causing concern and criticism on the part of the European Union. It is recalled that last April, the United Kingdom announced a similar agreement with Rwanda; however, no refugee transfers have yet taken place, as there have been appeals to justice by organizations defending the refugees’ rights.

Copenhagen and Kigali signed a bilateral cooperation agreement, which provides for the launch of “a program under which asylum seekers arriving in Denmark will be able to be transferred to Rwanda, while their application file is being examined,” according to a press release from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The program also provides for the option of settling in Rwanda,” Copenhagen added.

The Danish Minister of Integration, Kaar Diebvand Beck, said he was “very glad” about the conclusion of the agreement, which is the fruit of talks that began more than a year ago.

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Known for one of the harshest immigration policies in Europe, the Nordic country adopted a law in July 2021 allowing the transfer of asylum seekers outside the continent.

The Copenhagen program provides that asylum seekers will be able to apply for asylum in person when they arrive at Danish border checkpoints before being flown to a reception center in another country.

The social democratic government of Denmark has announced that it is holding talks on this with other states as well. Publications refer to Egypt, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, but Rwanda has been the only one to move forward with the plan.

The European Commission distanced itself, judging that the plan raises fundamental questions regarding both access to asylum procedures and to refugee protection. It also stated that it reserves the right to take legal measures in case of implementation.

The agreement between London and Rwanda is the subject of appeals in British courts. Refugees and rights groups in Denmark also plan to take legal action against the plan.

Source: CNN Greece

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