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The new rules are aimed at drastically cutting the number of people applying for asylum in Sweden. Credit: David Baujard/Sveriges Radio

Scathing criticism against stricter asylum rules

The government's proposal for stricter asylum rules, due to be implemented from the end of May, is receiving scathing criticism from several of those asked to analyse their effects in the official consultation.

At the end of November last year, the government presented a range of proposals aimed at radically cutting the number of people applying for asylum in Sweden. The ID-checks for people travelling to Sweden from Denmark and Germany had already been in place for a few months now.

But some of the more far-reaching proposals are part of a law that is set to come into effect on May 31. This includes making temporary instead of permanent residency permits the standard. These will be valid for between one and three years at the time. During this period, the right to family reunification will be limited.

Thursday this week is the last day for the official round of consultation, but several of the replies are already in. According to the daily Dagens Nyheter, the criticism is scathing. Several of the consulted bodies are concerned about the effect the proposal has on children.

"All in all, the proposals, which in many aspects hit children particularly hard, cannot be described in any other way than that they are child-hostile," writes the Children's Ombudsman Fredrik Malmberg.

The organisation Amnesty International warns that the stricter rules regarding family reunification will mean that more women and children will feel forced to go on long dangerous journeys to get here. The Swedish embassy in Ankara also expressed concern that more refugees will risk their lives to be with their family members, and that some people will cite made-up relationships as a way to try to get to Sweden.

Several of the trade unions are concerned about the temporary residence permit making integration more difficult.

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