Norway will return asylum-seekers to Greece
Norway is about to send 16 asylum-seekers back to Greece. In 2008, the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) came to a contrary decision based on humanitarian grounds and the lack of a functioning asylum system in Greece. There was a change of opinion when Greek authorities guaranteed a higher standard in their process. However, Marianna Tzefarakou, lawyer working with refugee issues in Greece comments that the situation for asylum-seekers in Greece has only gone worse. They have no chance to have their case properly tried, they become homeless and they have no chance to enter the labour market. In 2008, 14,400 people applied for asylum in Norway ; the corresponding figure for Greece was 140,000.
Dagbladet 26 May 2009 (in Swedish)
16 asylum-seekers to be returned to Greece
In violation with UNHCR guidelines, Norway is returning 16 asylum-seekers from Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan to Greece, where 99,9 per cent of all asylum-seekers were rejected last year. Naturally, many of those rejected were in need of international protection. This is common knowledge for the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board, who nonetheless now returns the 16 asylum-seekers to Greece through the Dublin regulation. Terje Sjeggestad of the Appeals Board comments that these people have the resources it takes to cope with the difficult conditions for asylum-seekers in Greece. The Helsinki Committee now claims that Norwegian authorities indirectly are violating the refugee convention. NRK Dagsrevyen 21 May 2009 (in Norwegian
Norwegian Government presents new measures to tighten up asylum policy
Norwegian Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion Dag Terje Andersen will on July 1 be presenting new measures to tighten the country’s asylum policy following an increase of 52.3% of asylum-seekers in the first five months of the year as compared to the same period in 2008. The new measures will follow the 13 presented on September 3 last year, during which it was also debated how Norway would handle UNHCR recommendations on protection. Most of the 13 measures have resulted in changes in- or adoption of new regulations. The Minister will in a press conference inform about what changes the measures have led to in actual case-handling. Dagsavisen 30 June 2009 (in Norwegian) Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion 1 July 2009 (in Norwegian)