October 2, 2022

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Tor Brekke står i ei lyseblå skjorte og ser rett inn i kamera. Han ser noko misnøgd ut. Bak han, ute av fokus, ser ein mørkret under nokre tre.

Hero Top thinks we treat refugees from Ukraine and Eritrea differently – NRK Rogaland – Local news, TV and radio

Free Bus And train, Prepaid cards for phonesOwn Study Places In the universityEntry Museum, Football matches And Concert tickets – Both are personal and District Councils It has offered special free settlements to Ukrainian refugees since the war began last winter.

Refugees from war and tragedy in other countries sit in asylum reception centers. Free offer does not apply to them.

Tor Brekke is CEO of HERO, the largest operator of asylum reception centers in Norway. He says it’s great to see Norwegian society welcoming refugees.

– so it is a little difficult to accept or understand that we cannot welcome other refugees equally well. Eritreans or Syrians are no less in need – they too need protection and a good start in Norwegian society, he says, and as soon as possible.

The Progressive Party believes there is a reason why some people get freebies and others don’t.

Have different needs

Erlend Viborg, immigration policy spokesman for the Progress Party, says there is a difference between refugees from Ukraine and refugees from, for example, Eritrea.

– We are talking about a group of refugees from our neighborhood. For years, the Munnetra Party has been claiming to help refugees in their immediate area in the best possible way, he says.

– So it doesn’t matter if some refugees get a free bus and others don’t?

– If you come from rural Somalia, a Ukrainian has completely different needs and prerequisites to manage in Norwegian society.

He believes that Ukrainians are culturally so similar to Norwegians that they can quickly integrate into society and therefore do not need a long assimilation process.

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– We should be happy that Norwegian society is now stepping up to help refugees in our immediate area. It’s great that we do that and then help refugees in other parts of the world, but primarily those in their immediate area, Wiborg says.

Erlend Viborg believes there is a difference in how to receive a refugee from Ukraine and a refugee from Somalia.

Photo: Christian Nicolai Bjorke/NRK

– We don’t discriminate

Marte Mjøs Persen from the Labor Party is the Minister for Employment and Inclusion. She doesn’t agree that Ukrainian refugees are treated differently — at least not by the state.

– We do not treat people differently based on which country they are fleeing from, but there are differences. The Ukrainians are here in the collective defense of the middle belt. This means that they will initially be here only temporarily, while other refugees will be here. They receive permanent residency, through which we provide temporary collective protection without an asylum interview and without an individual assessment. This allows for faster processing of cases, he says.

– Dore Bracke confronts that he thinks municipalities are more eager to welcome Ukrainians than other refugees?

– The Minister replied that I have no empirical evidence that it is correct.

– Is it fair that a Ukrainian can show his passport on the tram in Oslo and travel for free, while an Afghan resident in the country cannot? Isn’t it biased?

– Yes, and the government did not plan this here. Persen says these are local initiatives.

The minister insists that he does not want to downplay the commitment people have to Ukrainians, but encourages private individuals and the district not to discriminate against refugees.

Marte Mjøs Persen

Marte Mjøs Persen believes that we should learn from the current crisis how to better accept refugees in the future.

Photo: William Jobling / NRK

Asylum policy needs to change

Brekke believes that Norwegians’ good reception of refugees from Ukraine and criticism of the Norwegian authorities, among other things. How little money is available for foodThis should be a wake-up call for how Norway operates its asylum policy.

– It is quite obvious that the arrangements for asylum seekers in Norway are designed to be very threatening. Coming here and applying for asylum should be experienced as a very low desire.

Brekke says there is a difference when a group comes in where Norwegians are polite and want to help in a good way.

– Then we see that the criteria for asylum seekers are inadequate. “We don’t accept that Ukrainian refugees are treated that way, while we sit very quietly and watch other refugees being welcomed that way,” he says.

Tor Brekke stands in a light blue shirt and looks straight at the camera.  He looks a bit disgruntled.  Behind him, we see the shadow of some trees and some panels from a park

– Brekke says that we should take with us the best from the arrangements we make for Ukrainians and see what we offer as part of the standards for Norwegian asylum receptions.

Photo: Ole Andreas Bø / NRK

Listen to Politisk kvarter’s discussion here: