• Sweden's news in English
Fewer refugee children coming to Sweden
Migrants at the Greek border station of Idomeni, Greece. Photo: Darko Vojinovic/Ap/TT

Fewer refugee children coming to Sweden

TT/The Local · 27 Mar 2016, 16:55

Published: 27 Mar 2016 16:55 GMT+02:00

The decrease is believed to be due to stricter border control in places such as Macedonia as well as recently-introduced Swedish demands for ID papers, reports Ekot.

“This is mainly down to a sharp drop in numbers of Afghan asylum seekers between January and February,” Merjem Maslo, analyst with the Swedish Migration Agency, told Ekot.

In January 400 children and adolescents from Afghanistan claimed asylum in Sweden, compared to only 60 a month later. During the first half of March, only 12 have arrived in Sweden.

Sweden experienced a sharp initial drop in refugee numbers after introducing border controls in November 2015. Afghans often do not have valid identity documents, making them particularly vulnerable to the new Swedish controls.

“This does not mean that we are back at ‘normal levels’ – they simply do not have the possibility of reaching Sweden anymore,” Anna-Karin Johansson, general secretary with the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (Svenska Afghanistankommittén) told TT.

Despite the reduced numbers coming to Sweden, there is nothing to indicate that fewer are fleeing – instead finding themselves stuck at the much-criticised closed borders in Greece, according to humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

“I do not have access to any statistics – I doubt they exist – but on the islands and mainland of Greece I see just as many as before. I see no reduction in the numbers of minors coming from Afghanistan,” MSF’s Constance Theisen said.

Because of the closed borders in the country’s north, refugees now remain in Idomeni and other camps on the Greek mainland. They are also not covered by the same rights as refugees from Syria.

“There are very many here, and they do not have sufficient protection and are stranded. There is no system to take care of them. The minors are stuck in camps or disappear from them,” said Theisen.

Story continues below…

During 2015 a total of 23,480 children and adolescent Afghans, mostly teenage boys, applied for asylum in Sweden. Nothing indicates that there are fewer leaving their country today, says Johansson, who was in Kabul last month, where she witnessed concerns that government forces are incapable of resisting the Taliban.

“These are young people who are very vulnerable and have no resources,” she said.


For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
So Sweden has high taxes? Not as high as you might think
A taxpayer hands in their tax declaration. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

So you think Swedes pay a lot in tax? Others pay much more, according to a new study.

Man injured in shooting at Malmö shopping mall
Rosengård Centrum in Malmö. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Police cordoned off an area around a shopping centre in Malmö after a man was shot on Tuesday afternoon.

The Local List
Ten Swedish phrases you only hear in summer
Let's work on that tan. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Summer always leaves foreigners baffled by Swedes' unique seasonal habits. Here's The Local's guide to navigating small talk when the sun comes out.

Swedish kids' TV cooks up storm with condom haggis
How, er, not to make haggis. Photo: SVT screenshot

Not the Swedish Chef as you know him.

Swedes outgrown as world's tallest people
How tiny they must look to a Dutch person! Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Forget the myth about the tall, blond, modern Viking.

Record number of drowning deaths in Sweden this year
Linus Magnusson och Ester Meijer, life guards at Skanör beach in southern Sweden last year. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

More people have drowned in Sweden so far this year than in any other year this century. The good weather is getting the blame.

Presented by American Express
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
File photo: Pixabay

Getting ready to jet off on summer holidays? Be sure to check out these tips and tricks for avoiding unnecessary headaches between packing and relaxing.

Pupils' school photo Nazi salute 'wasn't criminal'
The harbour in Simrishamn, close to where the incident took place. Photo: Jorchr/Wikimedia Commons

Four high school students who performed a Nazi salute in a school photo have had their convictions for inciting racial hatred quashed by an appeal court.

The Local List
Silly season: seven strange Swedish summer stories
But at least the weather's nice. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

What are Swedish journalists to do during the long dry news spell of summer? Here are the most bizarre stories we could find.

'We don't know how Brexit will affect our time in Sweden'
Sweden-based Brit Sarah Campbell, left. Photo: Private & AP Photo/Tim Ireland

One month after the Brexit referendum Sarah Campbell, a British reader based in Uppsala, pens a love letter to her European Union.

Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
Meet the northern Swede who is the world's best mosquito killer
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Sweden's Hollywood star Alicia Vikander puts her pen in the bottle
People-watching: July 22nd-24th
Blog updates

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »


11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
People-watching: July 15th-17th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
Terror attack: what should you do?
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
People-watching: July 13th
Swedes discover surprise mountain
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
People-watching: July 8th-10th
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
jobs available