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Report: Children seeking asylum in Sweden lack support

Published fredag 24 mars kl 12.45
Ombudsman: Some children said they felt like they were in prison during the conversation
(1:16 min)
Photo of Fredrik Malmberg.
A report by the Ombudsman for Children found that many refugee children feel the asylum process is painful. Credit: Emma-Sofia Olsson/SvD/TT

Children seeking asylum in Sweden receive inadequate support, according to a report by the Ombudsman for Children (BO).

Over two years, BO interviewed 600 refugee children who had applied for asylum in Sweden. Their report found that many children described the long asylum process as “painful” and “difficult”.  

“They do not feel safe to talk about what they have been through,” said Ombudsman Fredrik Malmberg.

There are instances where the children have described the experience (at the Migration Agency) as so terrifying that they felt as if they were in prison during the conversation.”

One of the largest concerns for children seeking asylum is the long delays before investigations even begin.

“What we think is serious is that they had to wait so long to even get a first interview. This leads to issues with mental health, increased anxiety, and gossiping amongst children,” Malmberg told Swedish Radio.

BO hopes to introduce a measure that would require the Migration Agency to start the asylum process within two months of a child coming to Sweden. They also want to set up child-friendly investigation units at the Agency which would be specially trained to handle cases involving children.

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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