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EU-migrants face eviction from Stockholm camp

Published onsdag 19 februari 2014 kl 14.23
"Not a good situation for people to live in"
4:51 min
One of the huts in the new EU-migrant camp in Huddinge, south of Stockholm. Photo: Ulla Engberg/Radio Sweden

EU migrants who have set up a new tent camp in Huddinge, south of Stockholm, will likely soon be forced to leave. Just days ago, police and the Enforcement Office emptied a camp in the Stockholm suburb of Högdalen, where up to 200 homeless EU-migrants - mainly from Romania - had been living in tents, caravans and sheds. About half of them had accepted the offer of free bus tickets back to Romania, but others moved on to another camp in Huddinge. They now face eviction for a second time.

The new camp in Huddinge lies on a leafy, muddy patch between the rail tracks taking commuters into Stockholm, an industrial estate and some steep rocks which form the edge of a nature reserve. The 27 huts and a handful of caravans were moved and erected here in just a few days. 

The migrants received help from activists who had reacted strongly when they found out about the migrants' living conditions.

"I saw on the news a month ago how politicians in Sweden just ignore the fact that people live in camps in the woods and don't offer them any help. I thought it was awful so I decided to start a collection via Facebook," says Anna Silver.

Bienvenido Flores has been acting as a go-between and a representative for the migrants in their contacts with Swedish authorities and the health care system for the past two years. He has mixed feelings about the activists helping the migrants to move. It is nice that people show kindness and a human side, but their approach is not a solution, Flores tells Radio Sweden.

"You try to help people, but they need a different kind of help. When you take care of some people and take responsibility for them, you are also taking over their own responsibility," says Flores.

Flores says the energy and resources put into helping the migrants in this way could have had more effect if it was put to more long-term solutions. But Silver says short-term solutions are needed, too.

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