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Few children allowed to speak at migration hearing

Published torsdag 10 november 2011 kl 12.05

Many refugee children that come to Sweden without family are not given the chance to speak out at their own Migration court hearing.

Research carried out by Swedish National Radio News Ekot suggests that only one-in-four children are allowed to give verbal evidence.

"Every child has an individual story, an experience which is worth hearing. Children have a right to tell why they have fled to Sweden, " says Linus Trogeby, an expert on refugee issues at Save the Children.

He says that there is a need for change.

"It is important to listen to the children, but it doesn't seem that is happening," Linus Trogeby told Ekot.

Swedish law is built on UNICEF's Convention of Children's Rights, and there are rules in place for refugees who are children. In migration law, children have a right to be heard unless they are unfit to speak.

Ekot reports that the differences between Sweden's three migration courts is large. At the Migration court in Gothenburg, only nine percent of children spoke during their hearing.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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