More Children Denied Residence Permits
It has become more difficult for children arriving alone in Sweden to be granted asylum, according to both Amnesty International and Save the Children.
The Swedish Board of Migration has confirmed that the attitude towards asylum seeking children has become tougher in the last few years. Respresentatives say that today minors are returned to their country of origin without anyone there to receive them – a change from before when stricter rules applied.
“There are fewer demands on the process today. Earlier we almost used to insist that the parents would be standing there waiting for the child when it arrived”, said Rigmor Långström, lawyer at the Board of Migration, to Swedish Radio News.
While the number of children arriving alone in Sweden is increasing, the amount of asylum seeking children granted a residence permit has decreased from 80 % in 2007 to 54 % in 2008, and the figure continues to drop.
Margareta Kellerman is a lawyer at the Swedish Refugee Advice Centre and has been working with asylum seeking children for many years. She is worried that the number of rejections is increasing.
“I believe that they are being harsher than they should. The suspicion against children arriving on their own has increased in the last few years,” she told Swedish Radio News.