Council of Europe calls on Denmark to reconsider tough stance on migrants

2016-01-15 18:31:52 GMT2016-01-16 02:31:52(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

STRASBOURG, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Commissioner of Human Rights of the Council of Europe (CoE) Nils Muiznieks on Friday reached out to Danish Minister of Immigration, Integration and Housing Inger Stojberg, asking she reconsider recent Danish legislative measures on migration.

In a letter to the Danish minister, Muiznieks critiqued proposals which would allow for the confiscation of refugees' goods upon their arrival in Denmark in order to finance their stay.

"Such a measure could amount to an infringement of the human dignity of the persons concerned. It could also lead to violations of the right to property," he wrote.

According to Danish government proposals, refugees could keep with them a sum up to 10,000 Danish krones (1,467 U.S. dollars) as well as jewelry having a "sentimental value," such as wedding bands or medals.

"Recent restrictive changes to asylum and immigration law in Denmark raise serious concerns of conformity with human rights standards. The government should reconsider them and ensure that law and practice fully comply with Denmark's obligation to uphold refugee protection standards," Muiznieks said.

The commissioner also said he was worried by legislative modifications currently being examined by the Danish Parliament, which would aim to limit access to family reunification for refugees.

He said propositions to limit permanent stays, while also reducing the period of validity of temporary visas "run counter to the aim of promoting a speedy and effective integration of these persons in Denmark."

Some 21,000 asylum applications were recorded in the country in 2015.

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