Accessing the Danish Labour Market: On the Coexistence of Legal Barriers and Enabling Factors

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Historically, Denmark was a “fist-mover” as a signatory to liberal international humanitarian laws and conventions, especially with regard to refugees. Yet, in recent years Denmark has cherished the role of a different kind of “first mover” – namely as hardliner when it comes to immigration policies. This is evident in the existent political discourse and restrictive immigration policies personified not least in the number of times Denmark has altered (and tightened) immigration regulations. Yet, we demonstrate that while “barriers” exist in terms of entering Denmark, the Danish labour market structure is such that it ends up facilitating refugees’ integration and legally protecting their labour rights. To be sure, this protection is a way of guaranteeing the rights of Danish workers who would adversely be affected by the proliferation of an unregulated labour market where refugees are compelled to work under worse legal and economic conditions. However, the Danish case ends up being one where, counterintuitively, legal barriers (to entering the labour market) coexist alongside enabling factors (legal guarantees) of refugees’ rights.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ Integration in European Labour Markets : A Comparative Approach on Legal Barriers and Enablers
EditorsVeronica Federico, Simone Baglioni
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Publication date23 Apr 2021
ISBN (Print)9783030672866, 9783030672837
ISBN (Electronic) 9783030672843
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2021
SeriesIMISCOE Research Series


  • integration
  • migrants
  • refugees
  • asylum seekers
  • Denmark
  • legal barriers to migrants integration
  • enabling factors

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