Asylum seekers are excluded from many fitness centers and sports clubs, because they can’t get a CPR-number. Parisa from Iran is sad, because it prevents her from keeping fit, healthy and integrate into the Danish society
Why do you want to go to sports clubs?
“Because I need to move. Not just sit and look out the window and think about what is going to happen to me. I would just eat and sit in my room then. So I would gain weight and be unhealthy, but most importantly I suffer from Osteoporosis, where working out is a must for me, as my doctors have told me years ago.
Secondly, it is a way of keeping my mood up. It helps mentally, which is so important for us asylum seekers that live under so much stress and frustration and having our future in someone’s else’s hand. Also it makes me feel I can integrate in the society. It helps me create networks and contact with people.”
Why don’t you use the fitness room in your asylum center?
“In the camps everybody is stressed, frustrated and traumatized. So if you want a break from stress and frustration the way is not staying in the same environment. It makes me feel more depressed working out in camp and see no change in my surroundings. There are no motivated and energetic people. Moreover, many muslim men are not so used to see uncovered women working out, so coming to the fitness room in the camp makes women feel very uncomfortable.”
How do you feel now that you have not been able to get access to a sport club?
I feel sad. I feel like I do not belong to the society and cannot integrate. I feel like I am nobody. Someone with no role in the society and no identity until I get residence permit and receive a CPR number. It makes me feel that Denmark is racist towards us, as I can see my friends in Sweden can have Bank accounts, permission to work, sports clubs membership and so on.
CPR number is a personal identification number, which are given to Danish citizens and people with residence permit. Therefore asylum seekers cannot get a CPR-number.