Denmark wants to deport unaccompanied minors to Afghanistan
24 unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan risk being deported from Denmark to their country of origin. According to several human rights scholars a possible deportation would violate international human right laws and the UN Refugee Convention. – The Refugee Convention clearly states that if there is a risk of torture or other degrading treatment, we can not send them back, says Claus Haagen Jensen, professor at Copenhagen Business School.
DR 5 September 2012 (in Danish) Berlingske 5 September 2012 (in Danish) BT 5 September 2012 (in Danish) The Copenhagen Post 5 September 2012 (in English) DR 5 September 2012 (in English)
DK to deport teens to Afghanistan
05. sep. 2012 14.11 English 24 unescorted minors are currently waiting to be deported from Denmark to Afghanistan. If they are deported to the war-torn country, a number of human rights researchers say that Denmark will have violated numerous international conventions, reports the newspaper Politiken.
At the request of the newspaper, the researchers reviewed Denmark’s participation in a European project to establish a reception centre in Kabul to receive deported asylum seekers between the ages of 15 and 17.
Violation of refugee convention According to the Ministry of Justice, Denmark is just awaiting the signing of a project contract by the Afghani authorities before the government can begin deporting the unescorted minors to Afghanistan, making it the first government in Denmark’s history to do so.
Claus Haagen Jensen, lawyer and professor at Copenhagen Business School, assessed that the unescorted minors could not be deemed safe pursuant to the UN refugee convention if they are deported to centres in Kabul.
"The refugee convention clearly states that if people are at risk of torture or other inhumane or degrading treatment, then we cannot send them back there," he said to Politiken.
The professor believes that "conditions are so desperate in Afghanistan" that there is a definite risk to the teens’ health and well-being.
Must protect people Claus Haagen Jensen is seconded by Martin Lemberg-Pedersen, associate professor at Copenhagen University with a Ph.D. in European border control.
He believes that Denmark and other countries considering deportation - Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Great Britain - are obliged by the refugee convention to protect people at risk of human rights violations due to deportation.
Afghani citizens returning from western countries are considered legitimate military targets by the Taliban. In a recent report by the Australian Edmund Rice Centre, the circumstances of recently returned Afghanis were described as extremely dangerous.