In the first six months of the year, 122 Afghan aged under 18 applied for asylum in Sweden. 116 of those were boys.
Last year, a total of 160 under-age persons applied for asylum without their parents. In 2006, only 98 under-age children applied for asylum on their own.
According to an article in Dagens Nyheter newspaper, the Swedish Board of Migration has no real explanation for the significant increase. One possible cause could be that Iran now refuses Afghan refugees.
A similar trend has been noted in the UK, where according to the Guardian newspaper, young Afghans are fleeing Afghanistan because of the Taliban threat and pressure to take part in suicide missions.