Denmark: NGOs Call for the Rejection of Bill Increasing Refugees’ Vulnerability

Press release

FIDH, together with other several Human Rights organisations, has published a letter addressed to Danish authorities and parliamentarians calling on them to reject the bill aimed at limiting the asylum status granted to refugees, especially impacting refugees from Syria, which will expose even more lone women and girls to gender-specific violence.

The proposed law seeks to reduce the “strain on the welfare system” by preventing the spouses and children from applying from family reunification, leaving them behind to face indiscriminate gender-specific violence, such as rape, destitution and social exclusion in Syria for at least eight months. This would also affect women and girls from Syria who have sought refuge in camps or urban areas in the neighbouring countries, where lone women are particularly vulnerable, as the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Danish Refugee Council have warned. This law is in contravention of Denmark’s international obligations, including the rights to family and private life (article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights), as well as the principle of the best interest of the child (International Convention on the Right of the Child).

By opposing this law, the Danish Parliament would send a strong message about Denmark’s commitment to its Action Plan for UN resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, which includes the commitments to “ensure that women’s and girls’ special needs before, during, and following an armed conflict is recognized to a greater extent” and “protect girls and women against violence, including gender-related violence, such as rape and sexual abuse, and end impunity for gender-related crimes”.

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