• Maiken Them Simonsen
  • Lene Boe Kjeldsen
4. semester, Global Refugee Studies, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This Master thesis investigates the recent implementations of the legislations on intimidating (utryghedsskabende) begging and camps. In recent years, Denmark and in particular the capital of Copenhagen has experienced an increasing influx of homeless migrants. The expansion of the European Union in 2004 and 2007 has enhanced the economic disparity within the union, which has given rise to a large number of migrants within the EU exploiting the open borders in search for work and better living standards. The number of homeless migrants residing and establishing camps in Copenhagen has led to complaints from housed citizens about intimidating behavior and unsanitary conditions. The migrants engage in activities such as bottle collecting, begging and petty crime and are critiziced for disturbing the public order. To counter and remedy these issues, the Danish government has implemented different regulatory policies to restrict the migrants’ activities in the city. The legislations have been met with different opinions on the way they have been discussed in the parliament and the following implementation.
The empirical data in this thesis is based on a thorough review of the media coverage and political debate concerning the legislations on intimidating camps and begging. The data consist of newspaper articles, radio- and television programs, and live-streaming from the parliament, and are included to examine how homeless migrants have been problematized. Furthermore, to examine the situation of homeless migrants in Copenhagen in relation to the implementation of the legislations, the thesis leans on aspects from ethnographic research by conducting interviews with organizations who have first-hand experience in this field. Moreover, the thesis draws on reports published by these organizations and additional research on migrants in Europe.   
First, the thesis addresses how the political debate about homeless migrants has been marked by a negative rhetoric and stereotyped statements. It is argued that the migrants are ascribed with negative characteristics such as criminal, intimidating and suspicious, and are categorized as unwanted within the mobility regime. It further finds how the discourse leads to a demonization of Roma migrants in particular by describing them as parasites and a plague to the Danish society.  
Second, the findings illustrate that the legislations have been legitimized by misleading arguments. In fact, intimidating begging is determined on geographical locations and not related to behavior. It further finds that the definition of intimidating camps is ambiguous, and for this reason, individuals have been arrested for establishing camps. The thesis touches upon how the visibility of homeless migrants is considered as a disruptive element to the social homogeneity of the city. The legislations, even though not discriminative in their articulation, are in fact discriminative in practice as it is primarily migrants who are targeted. Hence, it is argued that there is a racial component attached to the legislations since the aim is to regulate and restrict the public space for homeless migrants with the purpose of pressing them to leave the country.
Finally, the thesis addresses mobility in the form of confinement and forced movement within the context of the city. The legislations confine the migrants as they are restricted in their access to maintain a life on the streets. Moreover, the migrants are subjected to forced movement, as they are forced to be constantly on the move to avoid the police. The thesis stresses that forced movement takes place at different levels and in the most extreme cases it can lead to the expulsion from Denmark. The Roma migrants are particularly disadvantaged by the way the legislations are exercised in forms of confinement and forced movement as they are not only unwanted in Denmark but marginalized throughout all of the EU.
Based on these findings, the thesis contributes with an extended perspective on mobility within the public space. As the legislations have just recently been passed, limited research have been conducted on how they are implemented. Therefore, based on the empirical findings, the thesis provides research on how the legislations have been exercised and the following effects.

Udgivelsesdato20 dec. 2017
Antal sider63
ID: 266312062