• Sweden's news in English
 

Refugee kids faking mental ills: agency staff

Published: 12 Nov 2012 12:30 GMT+01:00

A review of 62 deportation orders processed by migration authorities in Malmö in southern Sweden revealed that case workers from the agency often used rather flippant phrasing when describing the status of unaccompanied refugee minors from Afghanistan, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reported.

Several of the children's files read "have checked themselves into BUP" to avoid deportation, using the Swedish acronym for the country's child and youth psychiatric services (Barn- och ungdomspsykiatri), phrasing which a Migration Board boss admitted could be interpreted to mean that case workers don't believe the children are really in need of psychiatric care.

"I don't think this formulation is okay. I can't defend them," Anna Wessel, division head for the Migration Board in Malmö, told the newspaper.

"I've worked at the Migration Board for a long time and have heard unfortunate phrasing on a number of occasions."

Wessel blamed the situation on a lack of training and a "leadership problem" at the office which she has attempted to address since assuming her role in May of this year.

She claimed that, despite phrasing by caseworkers indicating that the refugee children are manipulating the system, the Migration Board employees' actions hadn't negatively affected any of the children in question.

The agency often justifies allowing border police to take coercive measures to carry out deportations by citing that young people are in psychiatric care.

While Wessel admitted that deporting unaccompanied refugee minors is "tough", she emphasized that her agency is simply carrying out its responsibility to see to it that people who are in Sweden illegally leave the country.

She added, however, that Migration Board staff shouldn't write about refugee children in a way that could give police the impression that they are simply trying to cheat the system to avoid deportation.

Björn Axel Johansson, chief physician at the child psychiatric institution in Skåne, told DN that refugee children who come to the institution's facilities often display self-harming behaviour and are "extremely desperate".

He admitted that sometimes his institution and the border police "work at cross-purposes", which can complicate treatment.

"It's hard to treat a patient when the police keep applying pressure," said Johansson.

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

13:55 November 12, 2012 by Migga
If it`s anybody, except for the "children", who knows if they are trying to cheat the system then it`s the well educated and experienced staff who have met them first hand. This Anna Wessel is out of touch with reality. The case workers should be allowed to write whatever they want, self-censorship belongs in communists state and not in Sweden.
14:10 November 12, 2012 by Eric1
What if these workers are telling the truth? The truth no longer matters in our society, only political correctness?
14:35 November 12, 2012 by bourgeoisieboheme
"have checked themselves into BUP" which could be interpreted to mean that case workers don't believe the children are really in need of psychiatric care.

Umm, maybe it just means what it says, the kids checked themselves into BUP! Why is it incorrect for these people to state facts? Just like a police report if I was in a car wreck while intoxicated... would it be wrong for the report to say I was intoxicated???

I love Sweden but at the same time can not comprehend how people come up with this stuff!!!
15:11 November 12, 2012 by RobinHood
Care workers must behave in a professional way towards unaccompanied refugee minors from Afghanistan.

Similarly, MIgration Board head, Anna Wessel must behave in a professional way when presented with clear evidence that these children are faking their illnesses, lying about their age, or self-harming simply to avoid being returned to Afghanistan. That kind of behaviour must never be rewarded with a Swedish residence permit, and the professional thing to do is have them on the next plane home.
16:33 November 12, 2012 by Shibumi
I think chances are pretty high that I would need psychiatric counseling if I had grown up in Afghanistan and my circumstances were so dire and my prospects so bleak that I would have preferred to leave my friends, family and everything I know to travel alone to an unfamiliar land in the hope of a better future. And that's as an adult... I can't imagine the trauma for a minor.
21:11 November 12, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
There shouldn't be ANY refugees in Sweden to begin with! Why does Europe have to take care of the rest of the world? Whatever happened to "Survival of the Fittest"?
23:06 November 12, 2012 by jostein
Generally, if we can get financial rewards for saying something, alot of us will say it. Generally, if we can get financial rewards for doing something, alot of us will do it.
16:10 November 16, 2012 by astra2thor6
I know a lady who has been employed by Migrationverket as a translated. When she told her employer that "X" was not from country "Y" because his arabic and accent was wrong, her claim was not pursued. "X" was obviously telling the truth although the Migrationverket employee hard no knowledge of arabic
15:42 February 21, 2013 by klubbnika
@Migga #1

How can you draw such a conclusion? Did you review every case and decided, based on the facts, that they were cheating the system?

Or is it rather a wishful thinking?
15:55 March 21, 2013 by janeway
Mental illness isn't cured by receiving a residence permit.

But it will help when it comes with a free apartment, Government benefits, pension, free medical, free travel and free...basically everything other have to work for to get.

jostein: Not all of us are born or raised crooks. Some of us have morals and can differ right from wrong and we don't lie are way around responsibility.
Today's headlines
World's first limousine snowplough for hire
Håkan Andersson's limousine snowplough. Photo: Haga Limo

World's first limousine snowplough for hire

A businessman in central Sweden is advertising what he claims is the world’s first Hummer limousine snowplough for hire on Blocket, Sweden’s version of eBay. READ  

Breastmilk drug could fight resistant bacteria

Breastmilk drug could fight resistant bacteria

Swedish researchers may have found a solution to the growing resistance to antibiotics in the most unlikely of places — breastmilk. READ  

Video
Swedish baby wins TV fame in US
A screenshot of Alma and Maja before the collision from America's Funniest Home Videos

Swedish baby wins TV fame in US

A Swedish baby and her King Charles Spaniel scored more than three million views on America’s Funniest Home Videos in just one day, after the baby's father sent a video of the then six-month-old being bowled over by the puppy. READ  

Royal couple blames tax woes on identity theft
Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill in December 2014. Photo: TT

Royal couple blames tax woes on identity theft

Chris O'Neill, the British-American banker married to Sweden’s Princess Madeleine, has admitted to having had problems over unpaid US taxes, explaining that he had been the victim of identity theft. READ  

Up to four subs feared in Stockholm waters
An enlarged look at the mystery sighting of a suspected submarine in the Stockholm archipelago in October. Photo: TT

Up to four subs feared in Stockholm waters

Sweden’s armed forces now estimate that as many as four submarines were operating in the Stockholm Archipelago in mid-October, the country’s Dagens Industri (DI) newspaper reported on Saturday. READ  

Sweden mulls ticket controls for jihadis
The war in Syria and Iraq has attracted many young Swedish Muslims. Photo: STRINGER/Scanpix

Sweden mulls ticket controls for jihadis

Sweden could introduce controls over airline ticket sales and border crossings as part of a new anti-terror strategy aimed at preventing citizens going abroad to fight for extremist groups. READ  

'Frozen' hanging woman died 'climbing fence'
The fence in Norrköping where the woman was found hanging. Photo: TT

'Frozen' hanging woman died 'climbing fence'

A woman found hanging dead on a fence in Norrköping, about one hour south of Stockholm, was pierced by razor-sharp spikes, but probably ended up there 'by accident', police have concluded. READ  

Sweden's first LGBT pool makes a loud splash
Sweden's first LGBT swimming pool. Photo: Sundbyberg Stad

Sweden's first LGBT pool makes a loud splash

The first swimming pool in Sweden designed for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is making waves in the Swedish media, ahead of its official opening next week. READ  

Princess Madeleine 'not involved in any debt'
Princess Madeleine at the Nobel Prize ceremony in December 2014. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine 'not involved in any debt'

Sweden's royal family has strongly denied claims that Princess Madeleine's husband Chris O'Neill has debts in the US, saying the US tax authorities 'made a mistake'. READ  

Romania and Sweden to cooperate on beggars
From l to r: Ministers Rovana Plumb, Annika Strandhäll and Åsa Regnér. Photo: TT

Romania and Sweden to cooperate on beggars

Sweden and Romania have said they will cooperate and work against fighting poverty within the Roma community, following key talks between ministers from both countries in Stockholm. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Meet the 'beggars' buttoning up immigration critics
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden this week
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years
Features
Learn Sweden's bizarre dating lingo
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Gallery
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Blog updates

23 January

Editor’s blog, January 23rd (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday from The Local’s team in Stockholm. We can’t wait for the weekend, when we’re planning..." READ »

 

14 January

Adjectives and nouns (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hi there, The other day I got a question about combining adjectives and nouns: When you have a..." READ »

 
 
 
Lifestyle
'Life as a Swedish candy-maker is sweet'
Society
Why Sweden's viral 'genital' video is getting an English remake
Gallery
IN PICTURES: January snow snaps
National
Why does Sweden's Luleå have a giant ice beaver?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Who are Sweden's richest one percent?
Business & Money
How a classic Swedish snack got a revamp for 'busy' Stockholmers
Lifestyle
The Local's top Swedish acts for 2015
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Årets Bild photography prize winners
Business & Money
'I met my Swedish man in Tokyo's first Ikea store'
Gallery
Property of the week: A cozy apartment in Bromma, Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: January 17th - 18th
Lifestyle
How to make Swedish gravad lax
Lifestyle
Four hot Swedish home design trends
National
How The Local's video on a strange Swedish sound went viral
Gallery
People-watching: January 14th
National
The Local's guide to Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Politics
Paris attacks: Knock-on effects in Sweden and across Europe
National
Swedish Muslims react to new Charlie Hebdo magazine
National
The Local talks to Sweden's Home Affairs Minister about Paris attacks
Business & Money
Will Spotify launch on stock market after users rocket?
Accelerated
Texans and Swedes to play ice instruments
Gallery
Property of the week: An 18th century mansion in Stockholm
Business & Money
'Snowboarding drew me to work in chilly Sweden'
National
Are Sweden's royals moving to London?
National
How Sweden's Charlie Hebdo rally broke a winter protest record
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Stockholm's 'no pants' subway day 2015
Gallery
People-watching: January 10th - 11th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Stockholm holds Charlie Hebdo rally
National
Have you seen Sweden's viral children's 'genital' song?
National
Mother of 'Superman' victim warns of ecstasy drug trend in Sweden
National
Are wolves on the loose in the Swedish capital?
Gallery
People-watching: January 7th
National
Stockholmers discuss why they joined global Paris shooting vigils
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's reaction to Paris magazine shootings
National
The best Swedish songs of the month
National
Ten Swedes who made a lasting impact on the United States
National
The Local meets northern Sweden's frozen Roma beggars
Sponsored Article
Everything you need to know about moving to Stockholm
Sponsored Article
How to jump-start your career in southern Sweden
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

1,144
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options