Who: Law on seizing valuables from refugees
What: Approved by Denmark Parliament
When: 26 January 2016
Danish Parliament, Folketing, on 26 January 2016 voted on a proposal to confiscate asylum seekers’ personal possessions in order to pay their upkeep.
The minority Liberal Party government’s bill was adopted by 81 votes to 27, with the support of the opposition Social Democrats and the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DPP). One politician abstained and 70 others were absent.
The policy says that the police will be able to seize valuables worth more than 1340 euros (10000 kroner or 1000 Pound) from refugees to cover housing and food costs. MPs also approved plans to delay family reunions for asylum seekers.
The government said that the policy brings refugees in line with unemployed Danes, who also face having to sell assets above a certain level to claim benefits. Denmark received more than 21 thousands asylum seekers in 2015.
Reactions on the decision
• A spokesman for UN chief Ban Ki-moon criticised the decision, saying refugees deserved compassion.
• The bill has been widely criticised by human rights groups.
• The proposed policy was condemned by liberal and left-wing EU parliamentarians by saying that the policy aims at delaying the family reunification of the migrants for up to three year.