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Denmark in talks with Rwanda on transfer of asylum-seekers

Denmark in talks with Rwanda on transfer of asylum-seekers

Danish Minister for Immigration and Integration Mattias Tesfaye attends a meeting at the EU Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), in Brussels, Belgium, Jan 13, 2022. (File photo: REUTERS/Johanna Geron)

COPENHAGEN: 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.

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 (Apr 20).

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.

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.

Source: Reuters/fh

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