Humanitarian head invites asylum-seekers to seek Denmark

Refugees Welcome chairman intends to pre-empt a government scare campaign

Michala Bendixen, the chairman of the humanitarian organisation Refugees Welcome, has frustrated the efforts of Inger Støjberg, the integration minister, to discourage asylum-seekers from coming to Denmark by inviting them to the country in an article in the Guardian newspaper.

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In an article entitled ‘Asylum seekers should head for Denmark – here are five reasons why’, Bendixen lists factors such as the country’s high recognition rates of refugees, fast processing times and generous system of subsidised education.

The move follows Støjberg’s recent announcement that the government intends to run an advertising campaign in foreign media to publicise Denmark’s tough asylum restrictions.

Bendixen explained to Politiken her reasons for writing the article.

“It hurts Denmark’s reputation when a lot of the policies implemented are about scaring people away from our country,” she said.

“I hope a debate emerges from it. There is an extreme contrast between the impression asylum-seekers get when they meet a Dane face-to-face and the way Danes vote in general elections.”