Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 389, 9 June 2021

Denmark: New legislation to relocate refugees outside Europe
Sourina Bej

In the news
On 3 June, Denmark passed a law enabling it to process asylum seekers outside Europe. Voted in favour by 70 lawmakers, the new law now establishes a system where an asylum-seeker will need to apply in person at the Danish border and then be flown outside Europe to be hosted in a third country. If their application is successful, they would be granted refugee status and be allowed to live in the host country, but not in Denmark. Knowing that one will be sent back, "we hope that people will stop seeking asylum in Denmark," said Rasmus Stoklund, the Social Democrat government party's immigration speaker to broadcaster DR.

On 5 June, a similar anti-refugee measure was adopted by Greece where it used high-tech "sound cannons" to stop crossovers from Turkey. Both the law and the measure have been criticized by the European Commission wherein the commission spokesperson said: "external processing of asylum claims raises fundamental questions about both access to asylum procedures" and equal protection. 
Issues at large
First, externalizing the burden of hosting refugees. At a time when Denmark is receiving the lowest number of refugees in Europe, the new law aims at conceptualizing aid and welfare schemes to contain the refugee influx within the borders of the African countries. The vision to externalize the burden of hosting refugees to another host country started with a report in 2002 by the Danish Centre for Human Rights and the European Commission. It became functional when Denmark's immigration minister, Mattias Tesfaye, whose father was an Ethiopian immigrant, visited Rwanda in April to sign agreements on asylum matters. Denmark, along with Austria, has pledged support for an UN-operated refugee camp in Rwanda, set up to receive refugees stuck in Libya. The Danish media has reported the government negotiating with Tunisia, Ethiopia, Egypt and Eritrea to set up refugee centres on Denmark's behalf.

Second, growing political reluctance, social paranoia and fractures within the EU towards migrants. Since the 2015 refugee crisis, Denmark, Spain and Italy have adopted restrictive policies with an ethnonational approach in dealing with immigration. With welfare dualism such as reducing social benefits for new residents, Denmark revoked the residence permits for 94 Syrian refugees on the ground that the security situation around Damascus has improved for them to return. While the eastern European countries like Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic had hardened their border police to stop the influx, the West European countries have attempted to integrate the refugees through housing settlements. However, across Europe, the inflow of refugees and along with it a scope for multiculturalism has stymied as political leaders exhibit anti-immigration attitudes. Complete sealing off the borders to "irregular" migrants or sending troops to push back refugees are compounded by equal public suspicion towards anyone "non-Western."

Third, Denmark and the EU's effort at the uniform rule for refugees. The Danish law is incompatible with the EU international law that stresses individualism and universal human rights and further complicates its efforts to have a uniform regulation for refugees. Along with raising the bar for asylum seekers, the EU has remained divided when different countries use different policy instruments to deal with the same crisis. In 2020, the UK considered building asylum processing centres on Ascension Island, a remote territory in the Atlantic Ocean. Merkel's Germany has famously "managed this" crisis through its nationwide housing policy and at the same time became the first EU country to lift its ban on deportation to Syria. France, Spain and Italy have exhibited strong anti-immigrant sentiments as they continue to receive most refugees. The result has been to think of a deal with Turkey which would again externalize the refugee burden. The host countries battle upholding their liberal ethos with hardening internal anti-migration and anti-refugee attitudes causing social exclusion, documentation hurdles, subsidiary protection and restrictive free travel within the EU.
In perspective
Denmark's law sets a precedent of obvious discrimination but the language is now spoken by both the extreme left and the right ideology-based political parties. Denmark seeks to solve the problem of internal integration by looking outside. The new law will likely deepen the boundaries favouring segregation and apathy towards non-West multiculturalism. As a region, the EU could rethink its integration policies beyond housing and as identity challenges that will now be further complicated with issuing of multiple identity cards for a single refugee.

November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 459
Europe: Restrictions lead to Widespread Protests
November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 457
Cuba: Between bouts of demonstrations
November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 454
Pakistan: A month-long ceasefire with the TTP
October 2021 | Conflict Alert # 447
The US: Protests against the Texas anti-abortion law
October 2021 | Conflict Alert # 444
Brazil: Anti-Bolsonaro protests across the country
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 441
Yemen: Houthis continue to capture territories

September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 439
Europe: Pride Marches in Serbia and Ukraine
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 437
Brazil: Protestors call for the impeachment of Bolsonaro

September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 435
Guinea: Another coup in Africa
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 431
Climate Change: Hurricane Ida destructs the US Gulf Coast
August 2021 | Conflict Alert # 422
Europe: Measures to curb pandemic trigger protests
August 2021 | Conflict Alert # 418
Peru: Protests a sign of challenges facing Castillo
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 411
Wildfires: Siberia to the US
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 409
Bosnia: 26 years after the Srebrenica Massacre

July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 405
Colombia: Two months of protests

June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 399
Myanmar: New UNGA resolution
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 397
Myanmar: The Aung San Suu Kyi trial begins

June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 390
Burkina Faso: Another massacre in Africa
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 386
Nigeria: Another mass abduction grips Niger state
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 385
Colombia: The protests continue
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 382
Israel-Hamas ceasefire: The long road to peace
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 380
Colombia: Three weeks of protests

May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 378
Israel-Palestine: Who wants what?
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 374
Yemen: The Battle for Marib rages on
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 371
Pakistan: Meetings with Afghan leaders
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 369
Israel-Syria: Continuing Missile Strikes
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 362
Iran: Another act of
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 358
India: Another Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 356
Global Gender Gap Report 2021: Main Takeaways

March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 353
Niger: 137 massacred in the latest attack by gunmen

March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 351
Yemen: Saudi Arabia announces ceasefire
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 347
Australia: Women fight against sexual violence 
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 345
The US: The George Floyd trial begins

March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 340
Syria: UN report calls for a complete ceasefire
February 2021 | Conflict Alert # 333
South Korea: The 'Comfort Women' issue returns to haunt

January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 222
Russia: Pro-Navalny protests turn anti-government 
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 220
COVID-19: The Vaccine Wars
December 2020 | Conflict Alert # 200
India: Farmers' protests intensify as deadlock persists
November 2020 | Conflict Alert # 191
Pakistan: Anti-French protests called off
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 174
Bangladesh: Protests intensify against sexual violence
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 167
India crosses 6 million-mark in COVID-19 cases
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 166
Pakistan: The persisting polio problem
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 156
Pakistan: Targeted Violence continues in Waziristan
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 154
The anti-Racist Protests in the US: Between
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 148
Israel and UAE normalize relations
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 146
Bolivia: Protests against the Election postponement
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 138
In Iraq, the protestors return to the streets 
July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence
June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 86
Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal

January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings

December 2019 | Conflict Alert # 19
Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019
November 2019 | Conflict Alert # 18
Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar