Denmark: Minister Refuses to Backpaddle on Ethnic Stats on Crime and Employment
Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Integration Mattias Tesfaye has defended studying non-European migrant links to crime and employment.
Tesfaye stated that the Ministry of Immigration and Integration would be grouping non-Western countries of origin together when compare statistics for crime and unemployment rates for migrants in Denmark.
One such region is the MENAPT, which included the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, and Turkey.
A report from the ministry based on the new groupings found that female migrants from the MENAPT region had an employment rate of 41.9 per cent, meaning less than half had jobs, compared to women from Thailand or Vietnam, of which 61.6 per cent were employed, Berlingske reports.
The statistics also show that young men from the MENAPT region have a much higher rate of criminal convictions at 4.6 per cent compared to other non-Western countries where the average was 1.8 per cent.
The MENAPT section of migrants also accounts for 54.4 per cent of all the 516,261 non-European migrants currently living in Denmark, making it a sizable bloc.
Tesfaye defended himself from criticism from some such as Halima El Abassi, chairwoman of the Council for Ethnic Minorities, who said the move divides Danes more than it unites them.
He responded by saying that the new way of looking at the statistics was “a tool that should make it easier for politicians to make decisions. By focusing on the problems as precisely as possible, it will also be easier for politicians to deal with the problems.”
“I think you have to be proud of who you are and where you come from. I myself am half Ethiopian and 100 per cent Danish, and I am not afraid that people know their roots and are proud of their roots. But we as decision-makers need to get honest figures that say something about the challenges of integration,” he added.
The move comes after the European Union recommended that member states record ethnic statistics in order to measure the effectiveness of integration programmes and discrimination against migrants.
In March, the think tank Unitos released a report that showed 62 per cent of young Somali men who had received a criminal conviction did so by the age of 30, compared to just 18 per cent of native Danes.
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