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Norway does not take enough responsibility for people on the run

The world has never had so many refugees since World War II. Fewer and fewer of them come to Norway. Several parties are now advocating increasing the number of quota refugees from Syria to 10 000.


Of those who have applied for asylum in Norway so far this year, people from Syria are best represented. In March, the country entered its fourth year of civil war. What started as a peaceful uprising against the country's President Bashar Al Assad has now led to nearly 200 people killed. 000 million people have been forced to flee as a result of the conflict; almost four million people have so far fled the country, while seven and a half million people are fleeing inland. The government parties and partners KrF and Venstre decided this autumn to double the number of Syrian quota refugees to Norway from 11 to 500. The doubling led to a reduction in the number of quota refugees from other parts of the world. So far, Norway has received 1000 Syrian refugees. Around 3987 of them are quota refugees, while the rest came to Norway as regular asylum seekers. As of March 1000, Sweden had received 1 Syrian refugees. The same week that FRP's parliamentary representative Christian Tybring-Gjedde went public with the proposal to establish UN-funded asylum reception centers in Turkey, the Labor Party decided at its national meeting this weekend that the number of quota refugees from Syria to Norway must be increased to 56 by 285. The weekend before also the Liberal Party's national meeting to receive the same number. The Christian People's Party also allows for Labor Party support for the proposal. Representative of the Syrian National Coalition (NSC), Hanan Al-Balkhe, believes 10 is a low number considering the scale of the crisis: "Norway is one of the first countries to have contributed humanitarian aid to Syrians in Syria's neighboring countries, and we are grateful for that. But aid does not correspond to the scale of the crisis. It is the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. There are over four million refugees in neighboring countries, who do not have the capacity for the large number of refugees they have now. That is why 000 is not enough, "says Hanan Al-Balkhe to Ny Tid. Al-Balkhe is originally from Damascus, and today represents the Syrian National Coalition in Norway. Now she hopes that the other parliamentary parties will support the parties' national assembly resolutions: "We Syrians thank everyone who sympathizes with us and show solidarity and support to those who need help. We greatly appreciate the efforts the Labor Party is making to receive more refugees, and we also expect all parties that represent the beautiful little Norway to take the same position, "says Al-Balkhe. Many. Last year, the number of people fleeing war, conflict or persecution exceeded 50 million people. Al-Balkhe talks about a hopeless situation both for those who move and for those who stay: "Syrians have lost hope of a life in neighboring countries and in Syria, and they therefore risk both their own and their children's lives in the hope of a different future. place. They travel at sea in unsafe boats, and many never realize their dream because they drown in the sea on their way to Europe. Norway cannot solve the problem, but everyone must contribute what they can, "she believes. The outside world must step up its efforts to help Syria, says Al-Balkhe: "There is no convincing reason to postpone such measures, especially as the humanitarian situation in neighboring countries is catastrophic and almost unmanageable. "The delay may have political reasons, that the earth has used it as a means of pushing for a political solution, or that all the countries have failed Syrians and left them to their grim fate," says Al-Balkhe. So far, Syria's neighbors have received the main flow of refugees from the country. According to figures from the human rights organization Amnesty International, 95 percent of those who have fled Syria live in one of the neighboring countries. Today, Norway contributes a total of NOK 750 million to Syria and the surrounding countries. Board member of the Association of Syrian Immigrants in Norway, Bill Nahas, sees it as expedient to strengthen the capacity of Syria's neighboring countries: "It is good that Norway accepts Syrian refugees. All Syrians need protection. But the truth is that the very weakest refugees, those who need it most, never get to either Norway or Sweden. Therefore, the international community, including Norway, must become more active in neighboring countries and contribute to the rearmament of the refugee camps here. In this way, we want to help the weakest – those of the refugees who need it most, "says Nahas. Intimidation of Norway. The world is experiencing its largest refugee flow in more than 60 years. At the same time, fewer and fewer people are applying for asylum in Norway – so far this year 1661 people. This is a decrease of 22 percent compared to the same period last year. Georg Schjerven Hansen from the organization Self-Help for Immigrants and Refugees (SEIF) believes that Norway takes too little responsibility for the world's refugee problem: “Norway does not take enough responsibility for people on the run. On the one hand, Norway has for a long time tried to create a frightening image of Norway as an unattractive country of asylum, so that as few people as possible will seek asylum here. On the other hand, Norway practices the 'Dublin principle' of the first country of asylum very hard, and sends as many people as possible back to other countries that do not have the capacity to receive more, such as Italy. The possibility of family reunification has also been tightened. If one is to believe the government, more austerity measures are on the way, "says Schjerven Hansen to Ny Tid. He believes the government is deliberately trying to keep the refugees at a distance by appearing as a least attractive place of refuge. "The reason is probably that Norway has a reputation for being a strict country, something several parties in Norway are certainly well pleased with. It has seemed as if the authorities' goal is for the treatment of asylum seekers to be as dissuasive as possible without being directly in conflict with human rights. In Norway, the focus in recent years has been on getting people out – not on letting needy refugees in. I hope this is about to turn around, "says Schjerven Hansen. Nevertheless, the ever-increasing involvement in asylum and immigration issues, as in the cases of the long-term asylum children, testifies to an ever-increasing involvement among the population in Norway. The head of the Anti-Racist Center, Rune Berglund Steen, believes that most people have become more aware of the consequences of Norwegian asylum policy for individuals – and that this in turn can force politicians to reconsider their asylum policy: "What has happened now is first and foremost that people have seen the brutal consequences that strict politics often have for individuals. A few years ago, there was quite a bit of silence in the media about asylum policy, but in the last three to four years, the media has increasingly shown the inhuman results that politics has all too often brought about, in line with the people starting to get more involved, Berglund Steen. "In short: the people have woken up, and the media has woken up. It is simply starting to look a little too ugly to insist that "In Norway, the focus in recent years has been on getting people out – not on letting needy refugees in" Georg Schjerven Hansen narrows the track where the answer to all challenges is austerity – also for the Labor Party, which for many years has carried the restrictive flag high. It is simply neither 'fair' nor humane to be strict with persecuted and vulnerable people, "says Berglund Steen to Ny Tid. Heinesen is a journalist at Ny Tid.

Carima Tirillsdottir Heinesen
Carima Tirillsdottir Heinesen
Former journalist for MODERN TIMES.

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