Accessing the Danish Labour Market: On the Coexistence of Legal Barriers and Enabling Factors. A new chapter of Sirius book

Sirius book

Here the abstract chapter, by Liv Bjerre, Michelle Pace and Somdeep Sen, part of the book entitled “Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ Integration in European Labour Markets. A Comparative Approach on Legal Barriers and Enablers” edited by Veronica Federico and Simone Baglioni.


Historically, Denmark was a “first-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.


Here you can download the chapter: