• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Here’s how Denmark’s famed ‘jewellery law’ works
The government's new 'jewellery law' takes effect on Friday. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix

Here’s how Denmark’s famed ‘jewellery law’ works

AFP/The Local · 5 Feb 2016, 13:30

Published: 05 Feb 2016 09:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Feb 2016 13:30 GMT+01:00

The Immigration Ministry has sent guidelines to Danish police on how to carry out the search and seizure of cash and valuables from arriving asylum seekers as Denmark’s newly-passed controversial legislation officially takes effect on Friday. 
 
Under the guidelines, police are told not to take wedding rings or engagement rings and individual officers are left to determine the “sentimental value” of other items. 
 
Police are told not to take items if they are "associated with a particular personal story that means the object cannot be replaced by another one," the guidelines read.
 
Before any search takes place, officers are told to first ask migrants to show any cash or valuables they have on their person or in their baggage. 
 
“With the visitation, police must in part determine if the foreigner is wearing any visible valuables and must also examine the clothing the foreigner is wearing without carrying out a search of their body. With the visitation, there shall be no undressing or entry into the human body,” the guidelines read. 
 
Police are allowed to pat down the migrants’ clothing and check their pockets, as well as undo the top button of garments and roll up their sleeves to search for any hidden valuables. 
 
Police will also have the authority to search the migrants’ bags. 
 
“This entails that police can look through and investigate bags, suitcases, etc and that bags and suitcases can be emptied in order to check their contents,” the guidelines say. 
 
The head of Denmark's police union, Claus Oxfeldt, said he didn't think the result of the searches would be "extensive".
 
"We are to pat people down like when we make arrests (and) ensure that people do not carry weapons," he told news agency Ritzau.
 
"I cannot imagine that there will be a lot of jewellery that we will confiscate," he added.
 
The controversial provision allowing authorities to seize valuables has been dubbed the ‘jewellery law’ in both the Danish and international media, although that element was just one part of a wide-ranging immigration bill. Other provisions include shortening the length of residence permits, making some refugees wait three years to apply for family reunifications and tougher rules for all foreigners to obtain permanent residency. 
 
Story continues below…
After thorny negotiations with the other parties, Copenhagen's minority right-wing government agreed to exempt wedding rings and other items of sentimental value from the searches.
 
It also raised the limit for how much cash a migrant can keep, as well as the value of any individual item they can keep, to 10,000 kroner (€1,340, $1,450) from the initial 3,000 kroner proposed.
 
Home to 5.6 million people, Denmark registered 21,000 asylum applications in 2015, making it one of the top EU destinations per capita for migrants after Finland, Austria, Germany and Sweden.
 
The Immigration Ministry's full guidelines for the search and confiscation of cash and valuables can be read here (in Danish). 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news.denmark@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
First service marks Battle of Jutland centenary
A memorial park to mark the world's largest naval battle that took place May 31, 1916 during World War will soon open in Denmark. Photo: Scanpix

Britain yesterday kicked off a week of commemorations marking one hundred years since the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of World War I.

Border checks
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
The Øresund Bridge connects Copenhagen to Malmö. Photo: Colourbox

Dozens of attempts to cross the Øresund Bridge have been made, but this is the first successful crossing.

Seagulls 1, Aarhus 0
Aarhus's Hitchcockian nightmare will continue. Photo: Stefan W/Flickr

Officials in Denmark’s second city declared an all-out war on seagulls earlier this year. They lost.

Russia lashes out at ‘hostile’ Denmark
Russia's ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin. Photo: Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Denmark

Russia’s ambassador to Denmark accused the Danes of being “hostile” and “anti-Russian” in an interview published on Friday.

Danish MP cleared for 'bomb civilians' remark
Søren Espersen of the Danish People's Party. File photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix

Copenhagen Police have dropped proceedings against Danish People’s Party (DF) spokesperson Søren Espersen after he said that Denmark “should start” bombing civilians in Syria.

Denmark's biggest IPO to be windfall for Goldman Sachs
Dong's expected market value is up to 106.5 billion kroner. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix

The Danish wind farm group Dong Energy is valued at up to $16 billion, leading to renewed debate about its partial sale to the US investment bank.

Aarhus blocks plans for grand mosque
Aarhus will not get a new mosque after all. Photo: Guillaume Baviere/Flickr

The sale of a plot of land for the construction of a grand mosque has been cancelled by Aarhus Municipality.

Denmark's waters are cleaner than ever
Danish beaches are cleaner than ever. Photo: Old Dane/ Wikipedia

Jump on in, the water's fine! In fact, it's cleaner than it's ever been.

Syrian refugees sue Denmark over long family wait time
File photo of the refugee tent camp in Thisted. Photo: Sara Gangsted/Scanpix

A group of five Syrians are suing Denmark and Immigration Minister Inger Støjberg over the three-year waiting period for family reunification imposed on refugees.

Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Green card holder Mehvish Kiran said that her four children would not be able to adjust to life in Pakistan. Photo: Submitted

Thousands of green card holders are desperately trying convince politicians not to force them out of Denmark and say that a recently-granted extension to the scheme is a hollow victory.

Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
National
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
National
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Society
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
National
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
National
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
International
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
Culture
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Society
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
National
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
Business & Money
Unwrapping Denmark's first zero-packaging food store
2,289
jobs available