Since November 2015, Norwegian authorities have denied refugees rights they are entitled to by international laws.
No real protection
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee along with NOAS – Norwegian organisation for asylum seekers therefore released two reports, focusing on the consequences of the rapid decisions in 2015.
The reports reflect on how the situation in Storskog changed Norwegian asylum politics, as well as Norway’s international reputation. The decisions were based on wrongful claims of Russia as a safe third country for asylum seekers.
In Russia, there exists a formal, though not a real opportunity for refugees to gain protection
Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General
-The system is arbitrary, with corruption and unavailability at its core. This information is well known to Norwegian authorities, still they choose to base Norwegian asylum politics on wrongful terms”, he continues.
Engesland says Norwegian authorities should be concerned for the damage the case has had on Norway’s credibility in international human rights work.
-The new government now possess a unique possibility to reconsider Norway’s asylum politics and regain Norway’s reputation within the area.
The asylum system’s dysfunction
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee presents in their report the Russian laws for asylum seekers and refugees, documenting the dysfunctional system. In every part of the process, asylum seekers are at risk of imprisonment, detention and exile. Approvals can be withdrawn, and their current laws have no direct rules forbidding returns to the country of origin. Close to none of the refugees will therefore receive protection in the country Norway is returning asylum seekers to.
-Russia is not only unsafe as a third country for asylum seekers, it is in fact also a country of origin for many asylum seekers, particularly Chechnya, Engesland states.
Violations of fundamental human rights on an increasing number of groups in the society, illustrates that Russia does not even protect their own citizens, also forcing them out of the country
Bjørn Engelsland, Secretary General