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How do countries try to deter asylum seekers?

How to deter people from seeking asylum? In Denmark, the social democratic government has been implementing a strict migration policy for years. In July 2023, only 180 people in Denmark, with a population of 6 million, applied for asylum. The Danes are cutting social benefits for migrants, limiting family reunification and abolishing the protective status of refugees from Syria. There are ongoing discussions in Germany about outsourcing asylum procedures to third countries. An example is Australia, which reduced the number of refugees by outsourcing asylum procedures to Papua New Guinea.

Asylum seekers at European Union borders and legal experts say offensive strip searches and invasive genital and anal checks are intended to discourage further border crossings and violate human rights. The men behind the searches are considered border guards, although they cannot be identified because they usually cover their faces and do not wear identification. The described procedures are observed, for example, in Greece and Bulgaria.

According to a summary of data from 45 countries, conducted, among others, by migration researcher Hein de Haas, since World War II, immigration policy around the world has become increasingly liberal. At the same time, border security has increased – in the form of walls, surveillance and suppression of people smuggling. As de Haas argues, governments in the West are trying to balance three competing demands: remaining open to world markets, protecting immigrant rights, and respecting those citizens who want to limit immigration.

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