Denmark in talks with Rwanda on transfer of asylum-seekers

PUBLISHED: Wed, 20 Apr 2022 10:49:34 GMT
Denmark’s Minister for Immigration and Integration Mattias Tesfaye speaks to the press ahead of the Extraordinary Meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Brussels on March 3, 2022. (Photo by François WALSCHAERTS / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS/AFP via Getty Images)

COPENHAGEN, April 20 (Reuters) – Denmark is in talks with Rwanda about setting up a new procedure for transferring asylum seekers to the east African nation, mirroring a similar move by Britain announced just last week.

Denmark, which has gained notoriety in the last decade for its increasingly harsh immigration policies, passed a law last year that allows refugees arriving on Danish soil to be moved to asylum centres in a partner country. Read full story

But the Nordic nation, which drew the anger of human rights advocates, the United Nations and the European Commission over the move, had yet to find a partner country at that time.

“Our dialogue with the Rwandan government includes a mechanism for the transfer of asylum seekers,” Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye said in an emailed statement to Reuters on Wednesday.

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The deal would aim to “ensure a more dignified approach than the criminal network of human traffickers that characterises migration across the Mediterranean today,” he added.

Last week, Britain said it planned to relocate thousands of asylum seekers to Rwanda, in a new deal aimed at smashing people-smuggling networks and stemming the flow of migrants. Read full story

Denmark has not yet struck a deal with Rwanda, the minister said, but immigration speakers in parliament had been summoned to a meeting on the matter on Thursday next week. The government needs parliamentary backing for a potential deal with Rwanda.

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