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It’s Both Unethical and Unhelpful for Governments to Strip Refugees of Their Assets

Governments are debating mean-spirited policies to discourage refugees fleeing brutal conflict. “Denmark is debating a bill to allow authorities to seize cash and personal items valued over 10,000 kroner (just £1,000) from asylum seekers,” writes Tania Cheung for New Statesman. “Switzerland has followed suit, already acting to seize financial assets over 1,000 Swiss Frances (£690) from refugees. The money will be returned to refugees, but only if they leave voluntarily within seven months.” Cheung outlines reasons to oppose such humiliating policies: Evidence suggests refugees make net contributions to the societies that provide safe haven. The measures could push more refugees into welfare programs. Programs to store and return funds involve needless bureaucracy. Evidence suggests that such policies increase illegal immigration. Finally, such confiscation programs violate the right to property as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “The only way in which the policies make any sense is politically, as an attempt to make a certain kind of tough appeal to an electorate,” she concludes, adding that those supporting such confiscation programs are similar to smugglers in exploiting the world’s most vulnerable people. – YaleGlobal

It’s Both Unethical and Unhelpful for Governments to Strip Refugees of Their Assets

Denmark is debating a bill to allow authorities to seize cash and personal items from asylum seekers, and the Swiss government has followed suit
Tania Cheung
New Statesman, 20 January 2016
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Tania Cheung works for the Overseas Development Institute’s humanitarian team.

Source:New Statesman
Rights:© New Statesman 1913 - 2016