Geneva - In a joint statement to the UN Human Rights Council’s 52nd session, Euro-Med Monitor and the IRDG urged European governments, particularly Sweden and Denmark, to end all discriminatory and punitive policies targeting migrants and asylum seekers immediately and unconditionally.
Euro-Med Monitor criticised the Swedish Minister of Immigration’s plan to impose a cap of 50 percent on the presence of non-Nordic citizens in regions where migrants make up the majority of the population. Delivering the statement to the Council, Euro-Med Monitor’s researcher Victoria Ceretti said, “The suggested cap is a clear example of discriminatory policy based on the flawed notion that the sheer presence of clusters of immigrant populations is the root cause of social problems.”
Ceretti warned that if Sweden’s government legislates the discriminatory goal, it will likely be followed by harsh punitive policies to achieve it. The statement also cited Denmark’s “anti-ghetto law” as an official discriminatory policy toward migrants and asylum seekers fuelling racial prejudice, xenophobia, and intolerance, while impeding the potential adoption of policies that facilitate their inclusion in society. The statement emphasised Denmark’s aim to significantly reduce the number of people of non-Western origin in areas it considers “vulnerable” via “methods such as eviction, increased policing, and double punishment”.
“This discriminatory law seriously violates the European Convention on Human Rights and EU law, which protects the rights to non-discrimination, equality, and adequate housing,” Ceretti stressed. Euro-Med Monitor calls on European governments to stop violating the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, and to instead focus on policies that facilitate their integration into societies and labour markets.
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor and the International Institute for Rights and Development (IRDG) are gravely concerned over the Swedish Immigration Minister’s call to put a 50 percent cap on “non-Nordic citizens” in all districts inhabited by a majority of people with immigrant backgrounds—the country’s so-called “troubled areas”.
The suggested cap is a clear example of discriminatory policy based on the flawed notion that the sheer presence of clusters of immigrant populations is the root cause of social problems. Such thinking fuels racial prejudice, xenophobia, and intolerance, and threatens to impede potentially sound policymaking. If the Swedish government establishes this discriminatory goal as legitimate, the implementation of harshly punitive policies in the name of achieving it is likely to follow.
Denmark’s similarly discriminatory “anti-ghetto law” fuels xenophobia, racial prejudice, and intolerance toward vulnerable minorities, as it aims to significantly reduce the proportion of people of “non-Western origin” in areas it considers “vulnerable”, through methods such as eviction, increased policing, and double punishment. This discriminatory law seriously violates the European Convention on Human Rights and EU law, which protects the rights to non-discrimination, equality, and adequate housing.
Mr President, Euro-Med Monitor and IRDG urge these European governments to immediately and unconditionally cease any plans of discriminatory and punitive nature, and to adopt policies that facilitate the inclusion of immigrants in societies and labour markets.