Norway leads the way in weakening the rights of refugees according to NOAS
With the instructions that can deprive Somali refugee status, Norway is leading the way in weakening of rights of refugees internationally, says NOAS. NOAS is the Norwegian Oraganization for Asylum Seekers
The organization launched Tuesday a website about the “State of the Union” in the asylum field.
– During 2016, Norwegian asylum practice has been tightened very much. Many of the most important tightenings are due to new governance practices implemented by the Government without the support of the Parliament, says Mari Seilskjær to NTB. She is Political Advisor in NOAS.
A recent Norwegian assessment of the security situation in Afghanistan, has led Norway to be one of the countries in Europe who rejects the largest proportion of asylum applications from Afghans.
There is nevertheless another field that makes NOAS particularly concerned. The Government has notified 1,600 Somalis who have been granted protection in Norway that they lose their status as refugees.
The instructions are rooted in the asylum settlement, where the majority of the parliament agreed that refugee status could be revoked.
After al-Shabaab retired from the Somali capital in autumn 2012, it is safe enough there, the Government believes.
– The big problem is that the Government instructs that refugees can also be returned to an unstable security situation. There have been some improvements in Mogadishu, but it is far removed from being significant and lasting improvements.
– The Refugee Convention requires more stability before taking away the refugee status they have received. Many after they have lived for several years in Norway, says Seilskjær.
– Here, Norway is a delinquent and leads the way in weakening the rights of refugees, she continues.
She finds it paradoxical that just rich Norway goes ahead, which currently has fewer asylum arrivals than for many years.
– One is concerned about signals in the asylum policy. That we go so far in not respecting international obligations also makes the general work on human rights more difficult, she believes.
Seilskær uses Kenya’s desire to close a refugee camp as an example.
– It will be difficult to argue against Kenya’s attempt to close the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab. The camp houses about 250,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia.
Europe disclaims responsibility
The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), Catherine Wollard, believes the tightening of European borders makes it more difficult to find international solutions to the world’s refugee problem.
“The experience is that Europe does not take its share of responsibility. This makes it impossible for Europe to persuade other countries to improve the conditions for refugees, and to take greater responsibility.
ECRE brings together hundreds of organizations working on asylum seekers and refugees’ rights.
Europe’s closed borders also create problems for the purpose of controlling migration from, for example, Africa, says Wollard. She points out that the EU wants control over migration flow as the main theme when European and African governments meet for a summit in November.
– This is negatively affected on the African continent. When Europe does not want to accept mobility and legal migration, they have no incentive to cooperate in better control, she says.
She points out that the money sent from people in exile is very important for the economies of many African countries, often more important than monetary aid.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today