Demand the right to live and work outside asylum camps – for everyone

Statement by The Trampoline House – a community of asylum seekers and other residents of Denmark – in response to the Danish government proposal to allow certain asylum seekers to live and work outside the camps:

We are people seeking asylum in Denmark. We have fled from torture, persecution, and extreme insecurity. We have made journeys that you can not even imagine. Wouldn’t you have done the same in a similar situation?

We are human beings stored in camps far away from everyday life and isolated from society – without the right to work and to education. We have skills, experience, resources, and the want to contribute, but are made into passive beings – just waiting and waiting. Depression and hopelessness are only logical consequences. We feel like prisoners – but at least, prisoners know the day they will be free.

We are also other residents of Denmark saying, ‘This is our problem, too!’ We all live in this society together, yet some of us are prevented from contributing to it. With so much talk of integration, it is remarkable how much money we spend on separation and isolation. It is a waste – a waste of lives!

The Danish asylum system is one of the strictest in Europe. It is a system that makes so many lives unbearable. Friends are being arrested in the middle of the night and deported. Many rightfully fear they will be sent back to persecution and deep insecurity. This system is absurd and unjust.

The current proposal – that certain asylum seekers should be allowed to live and work outside the camps after six months – is an important step in the right direction. However, our demand is that the government recognize these rights for all asylum seekers.

We all want to make a future together. None of us want to stand alone – neither in isolated camps nor in a country of isolation. We demand, at the very least, that after six months, every person seeking asylum should have the right to live and work outside the camps.

– The Trampoline House and friends.