Denmark ponders sending Somali refugees home
The Danish immigration service, Udlændingestyrelsen, is currently investigating the possibility of sending about 100 Somali quota refugees back to their home country.
Quota refugees are vulnerable people in need of international protection who are selected by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, for resettling in a third country.
Eva Singer, the head of the asylum and repatriation department at the Danish Refugee Council, has called the notion unprecedented.
“I have not seen either in Denmark or other countries with similar schemes that they would after a few years begin to assess whether they can send them [the quota refugees] back to their homeland,” Singer told Ritzau.
Singer admits, however, that this option has been legally possible since 2005.
Nevertheless, Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, the spokesperson for gender equality, integration and asylum in Enhedslisten, claims that “it is widely recognised” that once quota refugees have been resettled they get “a permanent protection”.
In addition to the 100 quota refugees, Udlændingestyrelsen is also assessing whether it can revoke residence permits of another 1,100 Somali refugees living in Denmark and send them back home.
The Danish authorities have evaluated the overall security situation in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, as stable.
However, the UNHCR disagrees and discourages all UN member states to forcibly repatriate Somalis to the African country.
Somalia is currently getting ready for presidential elections which were originally due in August but have been postponed until January 2017 due to repeated cases of corruption, electoral fraud, violence and intimidation of voters.