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EU court rules Germany can require refugees to live in certain places

[JURIST] The Court of Justice of the European Union [official website] ruled [judgment] Tuesday that Germany may place "residence conditions" on refugees. The case was brought by a Syrian couple who, upon arriving in Germany, were made aware that as refugees they were only allowed to reside in certain places. They argued that such restrictions violated their right of free movement. However, the court held [DW report] that the nation could restrict the areas in which those under "subsidiary protection" could live if they determined it was better for integration into society.

The rights of migrant populations has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issue around the world, as millions seek asylum from conflict nations. Last week the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said Tuesday that new measures put in place by many European countries are too restrictive and place undue hardships [JURIST report] on refugees and asylum-seekers. Also last week Amnesty International warned Austria that they are violating human rights through their daily cap on asylum applications [JURIST report]. The country had previously received a warning from an EU official not to go ahead with these plans, stating that any such move would be unlawful [JURIST report]. Earlier last month the German Cabinet approved new asylum laws [JURIST report] in response to the hundreds of thousands of refugees that have entered the country since the beginning of 2015. The bill will speed up asylum procedures and related legal appeals and will bar entry into the country for some asylum seekers' families for a period of two years. In January Danish lawmakers approved a controversial bill that will allow Danish authorities to seize assets [JURIST report] from immigrants seeking asylum in order to cover their expenses. In December the EU opened an infringement case [JURIST report] against Hungary's new asylum law and the country's response to the refugee situation.

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