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Executive Summary for June 30th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the first seizure of valuables from migrants in Denmark, U.S. calls for 1 million jobs for refugees and a Pakistani climbdown on Afghan refugees.

Published on June 30, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Denmark in First Seizure of Migrants’ Assets

Five people have been arrested on arrival in Denmark under controversial laws to seize migrants’ assets.

It is the first time that Danish police have made a seizure under legislation that states migrants must hand over valuables worth more than 10,000 kroner ($1,490).

Two men and three women, whose nationalities have not been revealed, arrived under false passports and immediately claimed asylum. When searched, they were found to be carrying nearly $20,000 and were arrested. A police spokesperson said the group was aged between 26 and 35.

The asset seizure law, which is similar to legislation in Switzerland and southern Germany, is intended to help cover the cost of processing asylum applications. Its supporters argue it follows the same approach that is taken with Danish citizens on welfare. Its critics say the law aims to deter refugees and migrants, and have called it degrading and inhumane.

U.S. to Call for 1 Million Jobs for Refugees

The White House was due to rally business leaders worldwide to find jobs for 1 million refugees. The call relates to refugee populations who have fled to neighboring countries and find themselves unable to legally work.

The June 30 call comes in advance of a September summit on refugees where U.S. President Barack Obama will cajole world leaders into boosting humanitarian funds by one-third and doubling the number of refugees being resettled.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said the targets, which also include getting 1 million refugee children into schools, will be announced to a gathering of world leaders at the U.N.

“The summit is by no means a panacea; even if we hit every target, our response will still not match the scale of the crisis,” said Power.

“We need businesses, big and small, to do more too; which is why tomorrow [June 30], the White House is launching a private sector call to action, which will rally companies to do their part, from providing jobs to donating services to refugees.”

Pakistan Gives Afghan Refugees Until Year’s End

Pakistan has climbed down over the immediate deportation of Afghan refugees. The prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, said that Afghan refugees already registered in the country can remain until the end of 2016.

The statement came a week after Pakistan set a June 30 deadline after which Afghan refugees would be deemed to be in the country illegally. The extension was won after pleading from the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which offered to double the assistance package for refugees returning to Afghanistan from $200 to $400.

Pakistan is believed to be hosting 2.5 million Afghans – over half of whom are registered refugees – after decades of wars in the neighboring country. The authorities in Pakistan say Afghan militants are using refugee camps inside its borders to threaten security in the country.

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