Minister of Justice Knut Storberget’s crackdown on refugees seems to be working, but at what cost? Norway has now one of the lowest numbers of asylum seekers in the whole of Europe.
“A total of 43 million people are displaced worldwide, and the number is increasing every year. The government has succeeded with its scare policies. People in need of protection apply to countries where they believe they can stay, and these restrictive measures mean fewer believe they have a chance in Norway,” Elisabeth Rasmusson, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (Flyktninghjelpen) tells Dagsavisen.
Fresh figures from the IGC (Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees) show Norway leads the decline in refugees this year, according to the UDI (Norwegian Directorate of Immigration).
5,311 people have applied for asylum in Norway so far, whilst Sweden has received 18,300 applications.
“There is a connection between Norway’s more restrictive policies and the decline in the number of asylum seekers, not least when it comes to Family Reunification (Familiegjenforening). There was a report last year showing why refugees chose Norway.
“One of the conclusions is that people perceive Norway as being an attractive country for individuals in need of protection. Nevertheless, we now see the new policy of tightening its asylum policy has resulted in fewer applications. The report showed that ‘Norway is good now’, but perhaps we aren’t anymore,” says UDI Director Ida Børresen.