The rulings could pave the way for more families with children to be sent back to Iraq.
Up until now, children from most parts of Iraq have received Swedish residence permits based on “extremely distressing circumstances”. But two families have now had their applications denied by the Migration Board, which ruled that basic needs such as housing, food, and water are accessible in Iraq, reports Sveriges Radio.
Both the United Nations’ refugee organ UNHCR and Save the Children have criticized the decision.
“It’s an unacceptable decision. It’s a decision in which they are saying that children can be sent back to a life where they can’t gain access to those things to which they have a right and where children’s lives are at risk,” said Monica Jacobsson, a lawyer with Save the Children.
Henrik Winman, head of the Migration Board’s legal department, said that the Board’s new practice will lead to a reduction in the number of families with children who receive residence permits based on extremely distressing circumstances.
Both families plan to appeal the decision to migration court, which has the power to overturn the Migration Board’s decisions.