Denmark has stolen children from their foreigner parents

Friday, February 11, 2011

Denmark and Human Rights

Critics of Denmark's tightening rules on immigration and integration say the country is violating European norms, including human rights legislation. How much has Denmark's approach to these issues been transformed under pressure from a right-wing populist party?

There are new stricter requirements for would-be immigrants, and for those already in Denmark, who wish to marry a Dane. This is in addition to the already high minimum age of 24 for both the Danish and the foreign would-be spouse, proof of financial independence and an "active commitment to Danish society".
Anti-DPP protestors outside the Danish parliament Opponents of the new points system made their feelings known outside the Danish parliament

European and international bodies have pointed out that some of these laws and regulations could be in breach of human rights legislation.

Professor Margot Horspool, a specialist in European law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, says that the restrictions on marrying foreigners "almost certainly breach European Union law in respect of discrimination as to ethnic origin, and possibly as to age".
She also believes the rules may violate EU legal protection of "the right to family life".

Another tightening of the rules prohibits state-funded hostels for the homeless from accepting foreigners who do not have permanent residency status. Reports say that this has led to people freezing to death in the sub-zero winter temperatures.
This, suggests Professor Horspool, breaks EU legal commitments not to subject individuals to inhuman or degrading treatment, laws that amount to an "obligation on the member state to ensure that humans are not left out in the street to freeze or indeed to starve."

The Danish government denies that its laws breach human rights, and says the 24-year age restriction is to prevent forced marriages.

All this is part, say critics, of a decade-long transformation in Denmark's approach to immigration and integration, under pressure from the populist Danish People's party, the DPP.
The DPP is led by Pia Kjaersgaard, a former social worker in an old people's home. "We founded the party because of too many immigrants," she says.
She likes to present a homely, common sense image. "I am very powerful," she told me, "but I am also just a housewife and mother".
Denmark's Muslim population are the party's particular focus. There are many Muslims, its says, who are unwilling to integrate and hostile to "Danish values" such as free speech.

Read more at BBC

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