Across the European Union laws and policies are being passed by governments to deter refugees from emigrating to their countries. Denmark was recently in the news for its new law that makes residency more difficult to get and confiscates the belongings of immigrants. Switzerland and several southern states in Germany have laws about confiscating the belongings of refugees that are above a certain value. In Denmark this means assets valued at approximately $1400, in Switzerland, assets valued at 1,000 francs, and in the German southern states assets valued at $810. Stephan Dünnwald of the Bavarian Refugee Council told Deutsche Welle that seizing valuables is a standard practice that allows the government to recover the expenses it incurs by housing refugees, according to the International Business Times.
Furthermore, this new law in Denmark comes just three weeks after the country imposed border controls between Jan. 4 and 14 to prevent refugees from entering without travel documents. Sweden introduced similar security measures the same day.
There have been many efforts to try to reform refugee policies in Europe, but none of them have been successful in developing a unified, refugee policy.
Therefore it is heartening to read about Better Days for Moira, a volunteer run effort next to a transit refugee camp on the island of Lesbos. Finding the conditions at the UN High Commission of Refugees transit refugee camp on Lesbos to be spartan, to say the least, volunteers built a camp at Moira to make refugees more comfortable. It is an impressive refugee run effort, they are looking for more volunteers and for donations to continue to build their efforts to improve the conditions.
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