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The Danish scheme for externalisation: Harmful to refugees and a threat to international refugee cooperation

Denmark has continued to pursue an agreement with Rwanda to evade responsibility for refugee protection despite stark criticism on the risks to international refugee cooperation by international institutions and organizations including the EU, UN and AU.

Posted on 03 Nov 2022

The Danish scheme for externalizing asylum processing and refugee protection has been presented by the departing Danish social-democratic government as an innovative and humane alternative to what is perceived as a dysfunctional and unfair asylum system. As repeatedly underlined by DRC and many other actors, the rationale behind the promotion of this idea for a new asylum system is flawed and the premises are false.  

The Danish plan for externalized asylum processing and refugee protection caters for narrow domestic interest to reduce the number of asylum seekers in Denmark at the expense of global solidarity and responsibility sharing. 

The global asylum system protects millions of refugees – primarily in neighbouring countries – and this system is jeopardized by Denmark's attempt to evade its responsibility to host an exceedingly small fraction of the world's asylum seekers and refugees. The number of people seeking asylum in Denmark in 2021 amounted to no more than 2.095 people compared to the 102.6 million people UNHCR estimates to be of concern in 2022. 

DRC outlines in a new publication five reasons why the Danish externalization scheme is harmful to refugees and a threat to international refugee cooperation.  

Evading responsibility for refugee protection

Danish Refugee Council's analysis and recommendations related to the Danish plans to externalize asylum processing and refugee protection.

Evading responsibility for refugee protection
Evading responsibility for refugee protection

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