New asylum austerity measures would violate human rights

Family reunification changes beyond the pale, says advocate

While Inger Støjberg, the integration minister, says the new rules for asylum-seekers, which are a major part of the government’s proposed bill, are right on the edge of what is allowed by law, at least one human rights advocate says that they go way beyond.

Jonas Christoffersen, the head of the human rights organisation Institut for Menneskerettigheder, claims the new rule demanding that the waiting time for family reunification be extended to three years is a clear violation.

“The Human Rights court announced 18 months ago that it is essential that family reunification be dealt with quickly,” Christoffersen told Politiken. “With a three-year waiting period, we are way beyond the edge of conventions.”

Wrong signal 
Reports suggest that one fifth of the refugees who come to Denmark will be hit by the new three-year rule.

The rest fall under what is called convention status and will be able to get their family to Denmark around the new rules. A convention refugee is often a man being forced into military service in Syria.

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“This rule aims at a tiny corner of the asylum-seekers who come to Denmark, namely women and children,” said Christoffersen. “It is a totally skewed signal to send to everyone.”