Migration & Refugees

Sweden Lacks Space for Young Refugees

This year, some 3,000 minors who originally came to Sweden all alone--that is without a parent or guardian, are waiting for asylum here. But more than 1,000 of them have no allocated place to live.

Most of these children come from the war-torn regions of Afghanistan and Somalia.

Through local cooperation with the Swedish Migration Board, localities have made close to 2,000 homes available for these young refugees, but more are still needed, reports news agency TT.

From the first of the year through July 14, 1,153 children and youth arrived in Sweden seeking asylum. By year's end, the number is expected to reach 3,000.

Sweden's system for receiving and caring for these children has been strained over the last few years, but conditions are beginning to get better.

The good news is that Sweden has designated more districts where children can await permanent homes. Whereas before, there were only four such districts--all in southern Sweden--, now there are nine. Many of the new ones lie in northern Sweden.

The Swedish Migration Board says that there are now a total of 1,976 housing sites throughout Sweden for these refugees, which means 730 new sites this year.

Since 2005, the number of minors coming alone to seek refuge in Sweden each year has more than quintupled.