New deal on rejected asylum seeker detention
Published: 18 Nov 2011 13:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Nov 2011 13:39 GMT+01:00
Rejected asylum seekers will only be allowed to remain in detention for a maximum of two months before being deported from Sweden, according to a new agreement between the government and the Green Party, Sveriges Radio (SR) reported on Thursday.
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The agreement covers asylum seekers who won't leave Sweden freely after their application for asylum has been rejected.
According to migration minister Tobias Billström, the clear time limit is a positive development.
The initial limit of two months can be extended to twelve months, however.
In addition, the agreement also calls for travel restrictions for those that do not follow the existing rules requiring those who are denied asylum leave the country within 2 to 4 weeks.
“If you don't leave the country, then you will be denied re-entry as a sanction. That means that you are not allowed to re-enter Sweden or the rest of the Schengen area,” Billström told the TT news agency.
The agreement also includes provisions to ensure that the needs of children are given special attention during and after the asylum process.
“The authorities should make sure to consider the perspective of the children involved when taking certain measures, and this could have certain consequences. For example, you have the possibility to weigh special circumstances,” said Billström.
The motivation for these changes is a new EU Return Directive which Sweden is obliged to implement. Now that the Green Party is in agreement, the bill will be sent on to the Legislative Council.
The Directive sets out common terms for member states in dealing with people residing in the EU without a permit.
Specifically the Directive grants more leeway with cases involving children, specifying that their interests should be taken into account. According to the Green Party this opens the door for more favorable treatment for families.
“During these negotiations, the Green Party sought a Swedish application of the Directive which is as humane as possible,” Maria Ferm, the Green Party's migration issues spokesperson, told TT.
The EU directive stipulates a travel ban of five years, but according to Maria Ferm the Green Party managed to lower the limit to one year for Sweden.
“We are against a re-entry ban, but it is something Sweden must introduce as a member of the EU. We have really pushed to make sure the time of the re-entry ban is as short as possible. It is positive that the suggested time, one year, is the shortest in the EU,” said Ferm.
The government and the Green Party began working together on migration issues after the 2010 elections.