Ontario students condemn Denmark's 'jewelry bill' that targets refugees

TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - Students are speaking out against recent legislation in Denmark to confiscate jewelry, cash and other valuables from refugees. Worried that the so-called 'jewelry bill' will fuel Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism, delegates at a general meeting of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unanimously condemned the law, which passed the Danish parliament on January 26.

"These laws target people fleeing war and persecution, and blame them for their own suffering," says Rajean Hoilett, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "They also create a climate of fear and suspicion, and cultivate a breeding ground for racism."

On February 5, the Federation issued a statement that asks the Danish government to respect its obligations under the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. In the last decade, the Federation has led two province-wide anti-racism campaigns, and supports numerous anti-racism initiatives among its members.

"Students are deeply affected by racism, no matter where it comes from," says Hoilett. "We know from experience that the number of racist and Islamophobic acts reported on campuses always increases whenever political leaders single out particular groups of people."

In its letter, the Federation calls for the repeal of the legislation targeting refugees, and offers to meet with the Danish Ambassador in Ottawa and the Consular General in Toronto to discuss the impact of these laws on students and their families who become the target of Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents over 350,000 students on 38 college and university campuses across the province.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: Rajean Hoilett, Chairperson, 289-923-3534 (mobile) or chair@cfsontario.ca

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