The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a humanitarian, non-governmental and non-profit organisation founded in 1956. DRC works in more than 30 countries throughout the world.

DRC fulfils its mandate by providing direct assistance to conflict-affected populations – refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and host communities in the conflict areas of the world; and by advocating on behalf of conflict-affected populations internationally, and in Denmark, on the basis of humanitarian principles and the Human Rights Declaration. DRC understands "durable solutions" as any means by which the situation of refugees can be permanently and satisfactorily resolved, enabling them to live normal lives. Durable solutions can be voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement. In Denmark, DRC assists refugees in all aspects of integration as well as asylum procedures. Internationally, DRC actively participates in supporting the protection of refugees, and promoting durable solutions for conflict-affected populations.


Counselling for asylum seekers
DRC’s Asylum Counsellors in Denmark offer legal counselling to all asylum seekers throughout the asylum procedure and after a final rejection to the asylum application. Counselling is also offered to asylum seekers in detention centres. DRC’s counsellors will answer questions about the asylum procedure, the Danish Aliens Act, the rules on deportation and the regulations in the Dublin regulation. In specific cases, DRC may assist the applicant in filing an application for review of the asylum claim or file a complaint with international courts or human rights committees.


Special counselling for rejected asylum seekers

In May 2014, DRC established a special counselling service which offers advice to asylum seekers, who have failed to obtain asylum. The counselling is based on the specific situation and needs of each individual person. The counselling aims to ensure that rejected asylum seekers gain clarity about their situation and get answers to any questions in regard to why they have been refused asylum. Asylum sekers are advised about the opportunities or lack of opportunities for obtaining a residence permit on other grounds than asylum. They will also be informed about the possibilities for support if they return to their home country.


DRC regularly holds general information sessions at all municipal asylum centers in Denmark to inform about the kind of help the counselling service offers to rejected asylum seekers. In addition to the general information sessions, the asylum seekers also have the opportunity to attend individual counselling sessions, to have their rejected asylum application reviewed, receive legal advice and discuss considerations and practical issues that are important and relevant for a possible return.


DRC is funded by:

A wide range of donors and partners support the work of DRC. Nationally, DRC is primarily funded by the Danish State. Internationally DRC’s donors and partners are: DANIDA (Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs), ECHO (European Community Humanitarian Office), UNHCR (United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees), Metta Development Foundation Myanmar, KMSS (Caritas Myanmar), Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), Norad (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation), IrishAid, US State Department, CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency), SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) and a few other European countries as well as several UN agencies.

Private funding represents a growing and important contribution to the international work. It is provided for by the DRC Communications Department through public campaigns, individual contributions, funds and companies.  

Target group of the ERSO member (in the context of return and reintegration):

The target group of DRC’s return counselling service is rejected asylum seekers who wish to return to their country of origin. DRC also provides repatriation counselling to refugees and migrants who hold a residence permit in Denmark but would like to return to their country of origin.


Does the ERSO member offer predeparture counselling?

DRC offers individual, face-to-face predeparture counselling with legal advisors and return counsellors in Denmark as well as counselling with local counsellors in the country of origin via Skype or telephone.


o  The purpose of the legal counselling is to clarify whether there is any possibility to legalize the stay in Denmark.

o  The purpose of the return counselling is to focus on the needs of the returnee in preparation of the return and in the reintegration phase.

o  The purpose of information from a counsellor in the country of origin is for the returnee to learn about practical issues relevant for the individual return, for example how to register children born in Denmark, access to housing in a specific village, establishment of contact to relatives, learn whether there are reintegration projects in the area of return, etc.


DRC will also help with the legalization of important legal documents and diplomas relevant for the return


What kind of reintegration assistance does the ERSO member offer to returnees?

Besides the predeparture counselling with counsellors in Denmark and in the country of origin, DRC will refer the returnee to any relevant reintegration activities and support that is available to returnees. DRC also offers to keep contact with returnee for a certain period of time after the return in order to monitor the returnee’s reintegration process. DRC does not provide physical reintegration support in the country of return at present.


Partners in the context of voluntary return and reintegration:

National level: Red Cross, IOM, relevant municipalities, NGOs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Danish Immigration Service, the Danish National Police.


EU level: ERSO members


Countries of origin:DRC local offices and ERSO local partners.