Archive for the ‘ministry reports’ Category

Danish government cuts transfer incomes for new immigrants

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

By Michael de Laine, Copenhagen, 3rd July 2015

The new Venstre minority government today tabled a bill introducing new rules for transfer incomes to newly arrived immigrants with the aim of making it less attractive for immigrants to come to Denmark, and more attractive for them to work and contribute to Danish society. Further restrictions are expected.

Inger Støjberg, the minister for immigration, integration and housing in the new Venstre (Liberals) minority government, has agreed with the Danish People’s party, Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives to introduce new rules for transfer incomes to people who have not resided in Denmark for at least seven of the past eight years.

The actual target group is defined as “newly arrived foreigners and Danes who have not resided in Denmark for at least seven of the past eight years and who cannot be accorded the status of migrant workers or self-employed people under EU legislation”.

The new rules, to take effect on 1st September 2015, aim at making it less attractive for immigrants to come to Denmark, and more attractive for those already in Denmark to work and contribute to Danish society.

The level of the so-called integration transfer income to immigrants will be cut to match the transfer income given to university students.

In addition, the principle that refugees must earn the right to child benefits will be re-introduced (it was abolished by the previous government), and the current special rules for refugees to acquire pension rights will be abolished.

As examples, the ministry says that a single person without children will in future receive an integration transfer income of DKK 5,945 a month before tax, compared with DKK 10,849 today, while a couple over 30 years old, with children, will receive DKK 16,638 in integration transfer income a month before tax, compared with DKK 28,832 today.

Immigrants proving their wish to integrate into Danish society by passing an examination in Danish can receive DKK 1,500 a month in addition to the integration transfer income.

“We must tighten our regime and get the flow of asylum-seekers to Denmark under control,” Støjberg said. The bill “will give a pronounced tightening of the conditions for foreigners wanting to come to Denmark. This is the first in a series of restrictions that the government will introduce to get the area of aliens under control again.”

Sweden to take human rights leads from conference in new plans

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

By Michael de Laine, Copenhagen, 22nd February 2009

Sweden must soon decide how to continue implementing human rights when its second national action plan expires. The experiences gained through systematic work on human rights in other countries are of great value, and several ideas, approaches and methods presented at an international conference on human rights implementation are being studied by the country’s Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality. The conference report has just been released.

The Swedish government’s long-term objective for human rights work at national level is to ensure full respect for human rights. This means that human rights, as expressed in Sweden’s international obligations, must not be violated. The legal system must comply with the international human rights conventions that Sweden has acceded to, and these must also be complied with at central and local government levels.

The Swedish government has adopted two national human rights action plans, the first for 2002–2004, and the second for 2006–2009.

While the experience gained from working on these projects has been largely positive, it has shown that, in working systematically on human rights implementation, many issues need to be solved along the way.

This year, 2009, is the last year of the second Swedish national action plan, and the implementation of 135 measures based on a baseline study of the human rights situation in Sweden in 2005.

Decisions on how to move forward when the second national action plan has expired will soon need to be taken. The experiences gained through systematic work on human rights in other countries, whether through national action plans or other methods, are therefore of great value for the Swedish government.

Several ideas, approaches and methods presented at Rights Work! – the International Conference on Systematic Work for Human Rights Implementation held in Stockholm on 6–7 November 2008 – are now being studied and discussed by the Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality, which is responsible for coordinating systematic work for human rights at national level in Sweden.

At a later stage, this discussion will be extended to the government offices and beyond, in the follow-up of the second Swedish national action plan.

Some of the ideas brought forward at the conference that are now being discussed, and that perhaps may be further developed within the continuing process of systematic work in Sweden, are outlined in the report from the conference.