Norway And Belgium Become Latest Nations To Plead With Migrants To Stay At Home
Norway has taken out a front-page advertisement in a major Afghan newspaper warning would-be migrants that potential asylum seekers “will be returned by force”, while the Belgian asylum secretary has written directly to migrants asking them not to come.
The headline of the ads, on the front pages of the Afghanistan Times and the Hasht-e-subh newspapers, read “Stricter immigration regulations in Norway – important information!”.
The print campaign began on Monday. A justice ministry spokesman said they may run next week as well and that Norway was considering doing the same in other countries.
One of the largest groups of asylum seekers are Afghans. Norway considers Kabul relatively safe even though much of Afghanistan remains chronically unstable amid continued fighting between the Western-backed government and Taliban militants.
“Afghans without need for asylum coming the #Arctic_route from #Russia, risk being sent to #Kabul. 500 returned from #Norway 2014/15,” a tweet from the immigration directorate read.
It was a reference to the northern route taken by some migrants in contrast to a majority that travels through Turkey and into Greece.
Norway’s campaign emulates a similar move by Denmark, which in September published advertisements in Lebanese media outlining recent government measures including cuts of up to 50 percent in benefits for asylum seekers.
While it is yet to be seen whether Norway’s newspaper adverts will deter newcomers, it will at least be seen by thousands, quite possibly
Norwegian embassies are also active in spreading the information.
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