Danish Refugee Council: Denmark must protect all Syrian asylum seekers

by zoejardiniere

01.03.13 The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has called on the Danish asylum authorities to take the lead from its neighbours, Sweden and Norway, and grant asylum to all people fleeing the war in Syria.

According to the DRC, 170 people from Syria are living in Denmark in a situation of ‘legal limbo’ – unable to return to their country due to the war that continues to ravage it, but not granted any legal status or leave to remain in Denmark. As long as the Danish authorities maintain that the situation in Syria is not serious enough to warrant an automatic policy of protection for Syrian asylum seekers, each case will be examined on its individual merits. The DRC, therefore, has contacted Syrian asylum seekers with the intention of reopening each of their cases for protection individually.

Eva Singer, the head of asylum at DRC told the ECRE Weekly Bulletin, ”The situation in Syria is extremely serious and therefore all Syrian asylum seekers qualify for and should receive protection in Denmark – just as they do in Norway and Sweden. Some have been in this situation since the beginning of the civil war, worrying about family members in refuge in the region or displaced inside Syria as well as trying to deal with the insecurity of their own situation.”

The number of Syrian asylum seekers in Denmark has increased since the outbreak of conflict, in the third quarter of 2012, they represented 17% of all asylum applicants, the largest group. The UN estimates that 70,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the conflict two years ago.

For further information:

–         Politiken, Sounding the Refugee Alarm: 170 Syrians in ‘limbo’ in Denmark (in Danish), 25 February 2013

–         ECRE, CMME & ICMC, Syria refugee crisis, EU should do more, 16 January 2013