Danish sentiment towards prioritising refugees continues to increase – The Post

Danish sentiment towards prioritising refugees continues to increase

Voxmeter study reveals Danes’ increased willingness to use Red Cross contributions for refugees

Helping refugees now a priority (photo: iStock)
March 10th, 2017 6:00 pm| by Amelia Axelsen

The number of Danes who want organisations like the Red Cross to prioritise helping refugees has tripled in the last four years, according to a Voxmeter study.

In the study, 15,000 Danes were asked to select the most important issue they wanted to fund out of 18 areas, such as disease control, animal welfare, emergency disaster relief and environmental climate.

Supporting refugees in Denmark and in other parts of the world was the third most selected category with 9.4 percent of Danes choosing it. Help in acute disasters was number one with 20 percent and fighting disease was second at 13.4 percent.

“There has been a marked shift in Danish attitudes to helping these people,” Anders Ladekarl, the secretary general of the Red Cross, told Politiken

“It is linked to an increased understanding of the importance of helping refugees. Last time we did the study, it was a bit shocking that it showed there was more who would support animal welfare than victims of war.”

In 2016, 4.5 percent of Danes chose providing funds to refugees over other categories, and only 2.3 percent in 2012.

Shift in attitude
As more refugees are finding work in Denmark and integration efforts for people from war-torn areas has been central to political debates, Danes have become more understanding and knowledgeable about the problems facing refugees.

Not only has the Danish attitude towards refugees softened in the last four years, but donations to the Red Cross for refugee welfare in Syria have increased from 3.5 million kroner in 2013 to 7.9 million kroner in 2016.

“It is not just something people say. We have been able to see it on our donations,” said Laderkarl.