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Young refugees could be allowed to stay in Sweden while studying

Published torsdag 24 november 2016 kl 10.49
Education Minister: Many teachers say they have pupils who are very insecure
(1:42 min)
studying
Credit: ANDERS WIKLUND / TT

Some children who have failed to gain asylum should be allowed to stay in Sweden if they are in upper secondary education, the government has decided.

Minister for Education Gustav Fridolin, of the Green Party, said a proposal would be presented shortly.

“A significant part of this concerns those who came to Sweden before the new refugee laws were presented. In those cases we have seen that new legal stances have made the situation uncertain. Many teachers say they have pupils who are very insecure, who may risk being deported on their 18th birthday despite currently having the right to remain in Sweden. For that group we will offer the opportunity of the longest possible temporary resident permit, four years,” Fridolin told Swedish Radio.

The law change concerns unaccompanied minors who are not considered in need of protection in Sweden, but who cannot be deported as they lack a safe place to return to in their home country.

This group was previously given permanent residency, but as of last summer the Migration Agency issues these minors deportation orders when they are 17.5 years old, which are then carried out when the person turns 18. This stance has received much criticism from several NGOs.

Gustav Fridolin was hopeful that the proposal would be passed in parliament.

“I know that even though we have had harsh and difficult discussions on migration policy, all parties should want to provide the best conditions for pupils in school and for teachers to do a good job,” he said.

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