Policy Analysis

Visions of the Realistic? Denmark’s Legal Basis for Extraterritorial Asylum

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
Nikolas Feith Tan Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen, Denmark,

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While efforts by destination states in the Global North to externalise their asylum are not new, Denmark’s current proposal to establish a reception centre outside the EU is novel in the Nordic context. Since 2018, the Danish Social Democrats have proposed transferring all asylum seekers arriving on Danish territory to a third country for the processing of their asylum claims. This contribution provides an account of the Danish extraterritorial asylum effort, from the origins of the 2018 Social Democrats’ platform to the 2021 amendments to Denmark’s Aliens Act. The contribution pays particular attention to international reactions to the Danish policy, before reflecting on the current and potential role of extraterritorial asylum policies in the international protection regime.

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