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EMPLOYMENT

Fewer redundancies at Swedish workplaces

For the first time this year, the number of monthly layoffs announcements in Sweden has dropped compared to last year, according to preliminary statistics for September.

So far, a total of 6,787 people have been told in September they will lose their jobs, Sweden’s National Public Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) reports.

The figure compares to 7,989 layoff notices for the month of September last year, marking the first time this year that monthly layoff figures have dropped year-on-year.

It was one year ago when redundancy notices started to rise in the wake of the far-reaching financial crisis which erupted following the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank in the United States.

In October and November, layoff announcements in Sweden peaked at roughly 20,000 per month.

At the end of last week, 255,829 people were registered with the jobs agency as unemployed.

The figure marks a reduction of 3,433 people compared with the previous week and 105,854 more than the corresponding week last year.

The number of people with employment support rose to 72,882, an increase of 17 people compared with last week and a reduction of 9,767 from the same week one year ago.

At the same time, 129,403 people were enrolled in employment support programmes, an increase of 3,782 people compared to the prior week and an increase of 60,107 compared to the same week last year.

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IMMIGRATION

Boys claim woman threatened them with ‘sex or deportation’

A woman who ran a refugee home in central Sweden is under investigation for sexual offences after two Afghan boys claimed she threatened them with deportation if they refused her advances.

Boys claim woman threatened them with 'sex or deportation'
File image of asylum seekers in a Migration Agency waiting room in Solna. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The boys, who have not been named, say the woman encouraged them to film her having sex with them, newspaper Eskilstuna Kuriren reports.

She then urged them to watch the films and to phone her when they missed her, they said. 

Eskilstuna Kuriren was given access to the films and believes they show the acts described by the boys, and that the woman can clearly be identified. She rejects the accusations.

The boys told Eskilstuna Kuriren they tried to inform social services and the police about what was happening but nobody listened to them.

They then went to the newspaper with their story on the advice of relatives living in another part of Sweden. 

“The boss at the home forced us into it and exploited us for sex. She knew we had to, and that nobody would help us,” one said. 

The boys say they had sex with the woman on four or five occasions, at a hotel and in her own home in the Sörmland region.

On one occasion all three were in bed together, they say, but mostly one of the boys had sex with the woman while the other filmed. 

The woman also offered the boys alcohol, they claim, saying it would help them enjoy the experience and despite them being under 18, the legal age for drinking alcohol. 

They allege that she promised to buy them clothes and toiletries if they had sex with her, but she also told them she would destroy important documents and get the migration agency to deport them if they turned her down.

They also faced sexual advances from other people in the woman’s social circle, they say. 

In an interview with Eskilstuna Kuriren one of the boys says they would be “stoned to death” if they ever went back to Afghanistan and their story got out. 

The boys were recently moved to a home in a different municipality. Local authorities there contacted the police after learning of their allegations. 

Police confirmed to the newspaper that an investigation into sexual offences was ongoing. They would not specify what the alleged offences were. 

The boys say they arrived in Sweden in November after they were urged by their families to flee Afghanistan and seek a better life.