UN to monitor Swedish migration board

The United Nations refugee organ, the UNHCR, plans to spend nine months closely monitoring the work methods of the Migration Board (Migrationsverket). The UNHCR regularly directs criticism at Swedish migration policies.

An official from the UNHCR is set to spend nine months following 200 asylum cases on site at the Migration Board, and then formulate a report with recommendations based on the experience.

“This is an evaluation project where we invite the UNHCR to follow up our asylum decisions,” the board’s legal head Michael Ribbenvik told the TT news agency.

Together with a reference group, including staff from the board and the United Nations, the official will follow the handling of cases through to their conclusion, as well as participating in inquiries and decisions.

The UNHCR has previous been a stern critic of Swedish migration policies, specifically since deportations to Iraq were resumed.

The organ has directed criticism over deportations to Baghdad, among other places, which the UNHCR did not consider to be sufficiently safe.

But according to Ribbenvik, there are no existing conflicts at all between the UN organ and his own authority.

“We work together on a daily basis, and have the whole time been in agreement over the situation in Baghdad. UNHCR criticizes the actions of states, and this is to be welcomed, but we can not always follow the recommendations due to the nature of Swedish legislation,” Ribbenvik said.

“I can not think of a better partner in a development cooperation than the UNHCR,” he said.

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