Denmark has applied a series of changes to its asylum law in recent years | Photo: picture-alliance /blickwinkel / S. Ziese
Denmark has applied a series of changes to its asylum law in recent years | Photo: picture-alliance /blickwinkel / S. Ziese

A migration expert in Germany has sharply criticized plans by Denmark to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda following a similar move by Britain. He added that the policy would probably be rejected by the European Court of Human Rights.

An expert on migration based in Germany, Franck Düvell, has said that flying migrants and refugees out to a third country violates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Speaking on Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio, he further highlighted that according to the ECHR, people seeking asylum are allowed to "knock on the border in any way, even without permission, and enter to apply for asylum here." 

The social scientist, who teaches at the University of Osnabrück, added that Denmark's proposed migration policy was a continuation of an overall trend across Europe. The idea of outsourcing asylum to third countries was already 20 years old, he said, giving the examples of Libya, Morocco, Belarus and Turkey as countries to which the EU tries to move its asylum workload, effectively preventing asylum seekers from entering the bloc.

According to Düvell, any attempt to implement the plan would likely fail at the European Court of Human Rights. This may even apply to the United Kingdom and its plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, as despite its departure from the European Union two years ago, the UK remains a signatory to the ECHR.

Read more: Legal questions surrounding the UK's plans to outsource asylum processing to Rwanda

Denmark seeking to outsource migration issues

Düvell added that this practice violates EU law as well, while highlighting that Denmark is not bound by EU law in this instance because of a series of special opt-out clauses that apply to Denmark's membership in the union. 

In June 2021, the Danish parliament passed a new asylum law on the initiative of Social Democrat Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. The law provides for migrants to be flown out to partner countries while their asylum applications are being examined.

Denmark has already agreed to such a cooperation agreement with the government of Rwanda. At the end of April, Danish Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup also signed an agreement with Kosovo on outsourcing detention facilities to the southeastern European country for deportees from Denmark.

Read more: Rwanda defends controversial asylum pact with the United Kingdom

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