Denmark to limit 'non-western' residents in some areas

Denmark to limit 'non-western' residents in some areas to 30 percent
2 min read
18 March, 2021
Denmark's plans for limits on 'non-western residents' have sparked outrage in Europe.
Denmark has enacted a series of measures against migrants and refugees [Getty]
Denmark has drawn up plans to limit "non-western" residents in disadvantaged neighbourhoods to 30 percent, according to media reports on Wednesday.

The proposed law has sparked anger and confusion in the country due to the interior ministry's use of the word "non-western" and also the controls on freedom of habitation.

Interior Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek defended the law saying it necessary due to "the risk of an emergence of religious and cultural parallel societies" in Denmark that could undo efforts to combat poverty, The Local reported.

But he added that the government would drop the controversial use of the word "ghetto" to describe some areas with high numbers of immigrants.

"The term ghetto is misleading... I think it contributes to eclipsing the large amount of work that needs doing in these neighbourhoods," he said according to the pan-European news site.

The law would govern areas of more than 1,000 residents, where more than half the population are "non-western", along with other criteria on unemployment, education, incomes and crime The Guardian reported.

No date for parliamentary discussion on the proposed legislation has been announced, but according to the UK daily the bill is likely the pass.

The proposed bill has sparked an angry response in Europe with many questioning the term "non-Western".

Andrew Stroehlein, European Media Director, Human Rights Watch, asked on Twitter: "Who decides who's 'Western' and who's 'non-Western'?"

Maryam Namazie, an Iranian-born political activist and rights campaigner, also slammed the move.

"Human beings deemed 'non-Western'? What next? 'Non-Western’ concentration camps or -their wearing a yellow star or pink triangle so the 'westerns' know who to target? Remind me never to visit Denmark again. In case it tips 'non-Western' balance and all hell breaks loose," she tweeted.

Despite its centre-left government, Denmark has enacted a series of legislation that appear to unfairly target migrants and minority groups.

The country recently withdrew recidency permits for 94 Syrian refugees arguing that the Syrian capital is "safe", despite the dangers returnees would face from intelligence agencies and conscription.

Human rights groups have attacked plans to house migrants on an uninhabited island and introducing a law to confiscate jewellery and other personal items from refugees.

Activists say racism has become pervasive in the country and urged the government to tackle the issue.

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