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    Migrants, who came from Germany by ferry and train Sunday night, walk from Rodby in southern Denmark towards Sweden on Monday Sept. 7, 2015.

    'Hoist by One's Own Petard': Danish Anti-Refugee Adverts Misled Migrants

    © AP Photo / Per Rasmussen
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)
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    Denmark, the first country to pay for advertising space in Lebanon, warning refugees against traveling to the Scandinavian country, has been told by the country's parliamentary watchdog it misled refugees.

    The adverts placed by the Danish government in four Lebanese newspapers basically said: "Don't come to Denmark."

    The adverts listed reasons why refugees shouldn't come, citing the 50 percent reduction in social benefits to asylum seekers arriving in the country and also noting that anyone hoping to apply for permanent residency would have to learn Danish.

    The advert also said there was a possibility asylum seekers could be "sent home quickly."

    The Arabic and English adverts in the Lebanese press were paid for by Denmark's Ministry of Immigration, Integration and Housing.

    But now the Danish government has been accused of misleading refugees, in particular Syrians. The adverts have been accused of giving Syrian refugees "an incorrect view of what their situation would have been in Denmark," according to parliamentary ombudsman Jorgen Steen Sorensen.

    "The advertisement could very easily have made them decide where to seek asylum on the wrong basis. It also highlighted that you as a refugee risk having your residency withdrawn. But in practice this has happened very rarely, and certainly not to Syrian refugees," Sorensen said in a statement.  

    Denmark isn't the only country to have paid for adverts in targeting migrants in refugee camps. Both Hungary and Norway followed in Denmark's footsteps and paid for space in Lebanese newspapers in order to spread their anti-immigrant rhetoric as well.

    Denmark's government has proposed stripping asylum seekers requesting government assistance of money and valuables, leaving them with only the most bare personal possessions.
    © Sputnik /
    Denmark's government has proposed stripping asylum seekers requesting government assistance of money and valuables, leaving them with only the most bare personal possessions.

    But the recent ruling that Denmark's anti-refugee adverts misled Syrian refugees has fallen on deaf ears. Integration minister Inger Stojberg has dismissed the criticism and intends to roll out another campaign.

    Topic:
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

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    refugee crisis, adverts, newspaper, advertisement, migrants, immigration, Danish Foreign Ministry, Europe, Denmark
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