By John Ikani
Denmark is in talks with Rwanda about setting up a scheme to transfer asylum seekers to the East-Central African country in a copy-cat of the one announced by Britain last week.
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.
Details of the scheme are sparse, but the government has said any person arriving in the UK could be sent offshore depending on the ‘strength of their claim’ and their method of arrival.
Once sent to Rwanda, they will be subject to the immigration laws of that country and would have no automatic right to return to Britain.
Denmark, which has gained notoriety in the last decade for its increasingly harsh immigration policies, passed a law last year that allows refugees arriving on Danish soil to be moved to asylum centres in a partner country but had yet to find a partner nation to run it.
Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye said Wednesday that he is in talks with Rwanda about partnering on the scheme, in the wake of the UK’s announcement.
“Our dialogue with the Rwandan government includes a mechanism for the transfer of asylum seekers… [the deal will] ensure a more dignified approach than the criminal network of human traffickers that characterises migration across the Mediterranean today,” said Tesfaye.
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 added.
Meanwhile, 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 Rwanda.