Denmark in Rwanda migrant-transfer talks

Staff WritersReuters
Denmark is discussing creating a processing centre for asylum seekers in Rwanda.
Camera IconDenmark is discussing creating a processing centre for asylum seekers in Rwanda. Credit: AP

Denmark is in talks with Rwanda about setting up a new procedure for transferring asylum seekers to the east African nation, mirroring a controversial similar move by Britain announced last week.

Denmark, which has gained notoriety in the last decade for its increasingly harsh immigration policies, passed a law last year allowing refugees arriving on Danish soil to be moved to asylum centres in a partner country.

But the Nordic nation, which drew the anger of human rights advocates, the United Nations and the European Commission over the move, had yet to find a willing destination at that time.

"Our dialogue with the Rwandan government includes a mechanism for the transfer of asylum seekers," Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye said in an emailed statement to Reuters on Wednesday.

The deal would aim to "ensure a more dignified approach than the criminal network of human traffickers that characterises migration across the Mediterranean today", he said.

Last week, Britain said it planned to relocate thousands of asylum seekers to Rwanda, in a new deal aimed at smashing people-smuggling networks and stemming the flow of migrants.

Denmark has not yet struck a deal with Rwanda, the minister said, but immigration speakers in parliament had been summoned to a meeting on the matter on Thursday next week.

The government needs parliamentary backing for a potential deal with the African nation.

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