Saturday, August 19, 2006

New CERD Report on racial relations in Denmark


The UN Committee for the elimination of racial discrimination (CERD) has presented its latest report on racial discrimination in Denmark. The report is critical of the state of racial relations in Denmark.

The Strict Danish rules for family reunification are criticized. According to Danish immigration laws spouses must be at least 24 years of age to have a legal right to family reunification in Denmark. One of the consequences has been the virtual flight across the bridge to Malmoe of more than 1000 mixed couples. They now live in Malmoe across the Oresound and travel to work in Copenhagen. It's a violation of human rights that two humans who love each other cannot choose their place of residence.

The conditions for asylum seekers in Danish asylum centres are critized in the report. Sometimes whole families have to live in a room, and the children do not have enough space for play.

It takes a very long time, and it is a very difficult procedure, for people of foreign origin to become Danish citizens. In the meantime they do not have full citizen rights. One of the gravest problems is the problem of women who have been exposed to domestic violence. They're in Denmark with right of residence because they live with the violent man. If they leave him, or he leaves them, they're bound to be expelled from Denmark. In that situation a lot of women prefer to stay in a violent marriage.

Asylum seekers and refugees who are unemployed get lower social welfare benefits than other residents in Denmark. It's difficult for them to subsist on these social selfare hand-outs with the high price level in Denmark.

The report also criticizes the widespread use of hate speech about immigrants. As has been documented also by Cosmic Duck (look into the archive for February and March), even a number of influential politicians in the Danish parliament have abused the immigrant population verbally.

It is symptomatic for the state of racial relations in Denmark that the state attorney would not sue the Jyllandsposten, when it printed the Mohammed cartoons, for violating the article on blasphemy in the penal code, so it could be tried in the courts.

The report is very lenient on the state of racial relations in Denmark. Many other aspects of the problematic should have been mentioned. It's a big problem that employers discriminate against people from a foreign background. If an applicant to a job is called "Mohammed" or "Ali" it's much more difficult to get to the job interview than if he is called "Jens" or "Søren". Employers generally prefer people with ethnic Danish names (like Jensen or Petersen). There is a chorus of employers yelling about a tight labour market, and yet they will not employ for instance more than 40 unemployed ethnic Danes in engineering. The chairman of the national union of engineers has presented a list of these people from his union's membership archive to Danish engineering employers. All of them have foreign sounding names. All of them have sent hundreds of applications. Because of their names they're not called to job interviews.

1 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth said...

This is distressing. It sounds like legislation is needed to protect civil rights in Denmark.

8:21 PM  

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