The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has strongly opposed a bill passed in Denmark that could deport asylum seekers to countries outside Europe.
Denmark on Thursday passed a bill that would allow it to open centers for the reception of asylum seekers abroad, where they will be sent and remain until the completion of the processing of their request.
The European Commission has already reacted by commenting that it has “fundamental concerns” about the bill, which “raises serious questions about both access to asylum procedures and (for) effective access to protection”.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grady, said in a statement that if the bill were implemented, it would lead to the forced transfer of asylum seekers and the waiver of Denmark's obligation to protect vulnerable refugees.
“UNHCR strongly opposes efforts to relocate or delegate asylum issues and its (Denmark) international obligations,” he said.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has repeatedly expressed its concerns and objections to the Danish government's proposals and has offered advice and realistic alternatives, Grady explained.
Denmark already has one of the toughest immigration laws between European countries and intends to accept refugees only through the UN quota system.
The new bill will allow Denmark to transfer refugees arriving on its territory to asylum centers in another country, possibly outside Europe, where asylum seekers' cases will be reviewed and they will likely be granted protection in that country. So far, Denmark has not reached an agreement with any country, but is negotiating with many candidates.