Burmese quota refugees favoured over Iraqis
The Copenhagen Post
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 10:23 KR News
Immigration Minister Birthe Rnn Hornbech (above) has done an 'about face' concering Iraqi refugees (File Photo)
The immigration minister has changed her mind about accepting Iraqi refugees under a UN programme
Denmark will now not be taking Iraqi quota refugees from Jordan and Syria this year, instead favouring Burmese refugees in Malaysia.
Despite announcing just two months ago that Denmark could accept the Iraqi refugees as agreed by the UN, Immigration Minister Birthe Rnn Hornbech has now said they will not be the first choice this year.
Head of the Social Liberal party Margrethe Vestager is demanding an explanation for the u-turn and said she suspected that domestic politics may be responsible. Birthe Rnn doesnt want to be in a position where she is throwing Iraqis out of the country, while at the same time bringing more in, said Vestager to Politiken newspaper.
The minister did not wish to elaborate on the reasons for the change, but told the paper that past experience showed that Burmese refugees were good at integrating into their new country.
Quota refugees are different to asylum seekers in that they are resettled in a country following agreement with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Denmark has agreed to take approximately 500 of these refugees annually, who are selected under a number of criteria, such as geographical regions, those who are critically ill and need treatment, those who are at risk of being sent back to their original country or those who are currently in danger where they are living.