Denmark has been declaring parts of Syria “safe” and has embarked on an egregious campaign of revoking or denying extensions of temporary residence permits granted to Syrians who were assessed to have fled solely due to the generalized situation of violence.
Last month, Denmark denied applications to around 189 Syrians who had found refuge there and thought they had settled into a stable and secure future. Approximately 500 other Syrians await a similar fate. Although Denmark cannot deport individuals who refuse to return, those who have lost their temporary residency status can be forced to reside in so-called return centers, separated from their families, and can lose their cash allowance “if they do not co-operate on their departure.”
Denmark’s decision sets a hazardous precedent for other countries who host refugees. It risks undermining a cornerstone of international refugee protection, the principle of non-refoulement, which guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.
Attached you will find a statement prepared by the Bridges of Truth project regarding this extremely important and pressing issue. Over the past four years, a collaborative group of nine civil society organizations have worked together to raise awareness about the plight of Syrian victims, inspiring action to promote their rights and holistic justice for the crimes they have experienced. Most recently, the group has come together to create the Bridges of Truth project. Among other initiatives, we hope to use our collective actions to elevate the voices of Syrians who face the risk of an uncertain future or forced return to harmful conditions in Syria, and whose only goal is to continue to live in safety in Denmark.
We urge the Danish government, the international community, and all countries hosting refugees to consider their humanitarian duty towards a people that has already suffered immensely over the past ten years and who are desperately seeking safety and security for their families.
Please help us in circulating this statement and ensuring that we do our part to keep Syrians safe.
To see the report, please click here