Mehl: ‘Norway wants refugees to be transferred from Moldova quickly’

‘It is important to Norway that we can begin transferring refugees from Moldova quickly,’ says Minister of Justice and Public Security Emilie Enger Mehl.

Minister of Justice and Public Security Emilie Enger Mehl i Brussel
Minister of Justice and Public Security Emilie Enger Mehl is in Brussels, attending the extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council regarding the refugee situation, external border controls, and other security issues. Photo: Ministry of Justice and Public Security. Credit: Ministry of Justice and Public Security

On Monday, Ms Mehl attended the extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels regarding the war in Ukraine. Topics covered at the meeting were the reception of refugees, external border controls, and other security issues.

The Norwegian Government has decided to receive Ukrainian refugees from Moldova – initially 2 500 people.

Lists requested

‘Norway has asked for lists of people we can receive from Moldova. It is important to the Norwegian Government that this work speeds up, so that we can help Moldova, and so that people who need help are brought to safety,’ says the Minister of Justice and Public Security.

The immigration authorities received instructions last week to make preparations in Norway. The Norwegian Government will also receive up to 550 patients and their next-of-kin through a separate programme for medical evacuation of Ukrainian patients in the EU/EEA area. The first patients have already arrived.

It is also important to the Norwegian Government that we know who is moving around the Schengen area, and who is travelling to Norway.

Stopping criminals

‘It is also critical that we prevent criminals from taking advantage of people in crisis, and we have measures to combat human trafficking. The Norwegian Government takes this very seriously,’ states Ms Mehl. 

She advises against the organisation of private transport of Ukrainian refugees between European countries because this increases the risk of human smuggling and human trafficking.

‘We know that people who have previously been reported to the police for committing sexual abuse against children, or who have been convicted of such crimes, have participated in the transport of refugees to Norway. There is also a risk of people with ill intentions in Norway slipping in among the refugee stream. We believe that it is important for the transfer of refugees to be organised by the Norwegian authorities and within a formal framework, so that we know who is coming to Norway,’ says Ms Mehl.