The much-discussed ‘ghetto law’ was already introduced in 2018. Since then, the term ‘ghetto’ has been used to refer to some favelas. These are the neighborhoods in which at least 1,000 people of a non-Western background live which simultaneously meet two of the four criteria.
The criteria are:
- More than 40 percent of the population is unemployed
- More than 60 percent of children between the ages of 39 and 50 are not highly educated
- Crime rates are three times the national average
- Median income is at least 55% below the regional average
Fifteen neighborhoods in Denmark fall under the “ghetto” category. The result for the residents: For violations, they are punished twice as severely as in other neighborhoods, and children over the age of one year are required to go to foster homes. If parents do not, they will lose certain contributions.
Now the Danes are taking a step forward. The government wants slums to consist of a maximum of 30% non-Western immigrants within 10 years. The term “ghetto” was dropped, because according to the Ministry of the Interior, “it will not do justice to the work going on in those neighborhoods.”
Danger to the welfare state
The idea behind the bill is that an increase in the number of immigrants would endanger the welfare state. “The Danish government says that if many people do not integrate, there is a risk that the welfare state’s support will diminish,” said Ron Staubager. He is a professor of political science at the Danish University of Aarhus.
“Minority groups are widely benefiting from the welfare state, meaning that they receive a lot of financial aid. As this group grows, more money goes to immigrants. People don’t want to pay for a group they don’t feel connected to. So the idea is that they shouldn’t That there would be a lot of immigrants to keep the welfare state in place. “
By the way, non-Western immigrants mean all people who are not from the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, Andorra, Canada, the United States, Australia or New Zealand.
Danish human rights organization concerned. There are three lawsuits already pending over the old ‘ghetto law’, all of which are backed by our organization, ”spokeswoman Nana Margaret Croosa said. The reason is that the law discriminates against ethnic minorities.
“That is why we will take a closer look at this new law. Although the coming weeks should reveal exactly what the bill will look like and which groups will be affected by it. But discrimination is inherent.”
Strict immigration policy
Denmark is famous for its strict immigration policy anyway. Great for a country led by the Social Democrats, a center-left party. But according to political science professor Stubager, there is an explanation. The Social Democrats lost the election in 2015. Many say this is because they do not have a clear position on immigration.
That changed when Mette Frederiksen, the incumbent Prime Minister, took the helm. Under her leadership, the party moved to the right. She was in favor of a strict immigration policy. So her argument was that the welfare state would be in danger if that were the case. A lot of people did not agree with it or not, I delivered it in a convincing way. “
Voices from the right
“It made her get a lot of votes from right-wing voters in the 2019 elections,” said Staubager. “She won the election and is now prime minister.”
You might think that with the strict immigration policy you would simultaneously lose votes for other left-wing parties, but in the Danish political scene this seems the least of a problem. “The smaller left-wing parties prefer not to have a right-wing government and therefore are in line with the politics of the Social Democrats, who prefer seeing them in power.”
“In Denmark you only have two blocks. A red block (the left side) and a blue block (the right sides). So often one side of the red block supports a bill from another party in the red block so they can get there. It’s a step against the blue block. Even if they don’t agree. Completely. “
The bill will be voted on soon. Most seem to be in favor.