Danish Refugee Council
Danish Refugee Council
The Danish Refugee Council assists refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe: we provide emergency aid, fight for their rights, and strengthen their opportunity for a brighter future. We work in conflict-affected areas, along the displacement routes, and in the countries where refugees settle. In cooperation with local communities, we strive for responsible and sustainable solutions.
We work toward successful integration and – whenever possible – for the fulfillment of the wish to return home. The Danish Refugee Council was founded in Denmark in 1956, and has since grown to become an international humanitarian organization with more than 7,000 staff and 8,000 volunteers. Our vision is a dignified life for all displaced. All of our efforts are based on our value compass: humanity, respect, independence and neutrality, participation, and honesty and transparency.
DRC’s Asylum Department offers counseling to asylum seekers in Denmark independently of the Danish authorities. We offer legal counseling and representation as well as counseling about return to home countries.
Does the ERSO member offer pre-departure counseling?
DRC offers individual, face-to-face predeparture counselling to rejected asylum seekers with return counsellors in Denmark as well as counselling with local counsellors in countries of origin via Skype or telephone. The pre-departure counselling is based on the specific situation and needs of each individual person in preparation of the return and in the reintegration phase. The purpose is to promote durable solutions for rejected asylum seekers, including dignified return and reintegration.
The counseling aims to ensure that rejected asylum seekers gain clarity about their situation, are informed about their rights and aware of any available reintegration support to help them make informed choices in a non-pressurised environment. Return counsellors carry out individual counselling sessions, conduct outreach work and initiate activities to empower and support the ressources of rejected asylum seekers. Go-and-inform visits in asylum centers in Denmark from relevant reintegrationspartners are also carried out.
DRC also provides general information about the Danish asylum procedure to the broad range of asylum seekers in Denmark (not only rejected). When relevant, return counsellors refer to legal counseling and representation. Access to legal counseling throughout the procedure also seems to have a positive effect on the quality of the decisions and on the asylum seeker’s acceptance of a potential negative decision.
What kind of reintegration assistance does the ERSO member offer to returnees?
Besides pre-departure counseling with counsellors in Denmark and in the country of origin, DRC will refer the returnee to any relevant reintegration activities and support that is available to returnees. This may be reintegration support available through the ERSO network, ERRIN programs or bilateral agreements. DRC also offers to keep contact with the returnee for a certain period of time after the return in order to monitor the returnee’s reintegration process.
Target group of the ERSO member (in the context of return and reintegration)
The target group of DRC’s return counseling service is rejected asylum seekers who wish to return to their country of origin. DRC also provides repatriation counseling to refugees and migrants who hold a residence permit in Denmark but would like to return to their country of origin.
Member is funded by
A wide range of donors and partners support the work of DRC. Nationally, DRC is primarily funded by the Danish State. Internationally DRC’s donors and partners are: DANIDA (Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs), ECHO (European Community Humanitarian Office), UNHCR (United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees), DFID (UK Department for International Development), Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), Norad (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation), IrishAid, US State Department, CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) , SDC (Swiss Development Cooperation) and a few other European countries as well as several UN agencies. Private funding represents a growing and important contribution to the international work. It is provided for by the DRC Communications Department through public campaigns, individual contributions, funds and companies.