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Lack of interpreters threat to asylum process

The Local/dl · 12 Nov 2010, 07:26

Published: 12 Nov 2010 07:26 GMT+01:00

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“The risk is that asylum seekers won’t be understood and that, as a result, an asylum seeker won’t be able to put forward the arguments that serve as the basis for their case in an effective way. And therefore there is a risk that they will be rejected, and we think that’s very serious,” Anne Ramberg, director general of the Swedish Bar Association, told Sveriges Radio.

Only one sixth of the 6,000 interpreters in Sweden are licenced by Sweden’s Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet), and even fewer have specialized competence in legal terminology.

Of the 200,000 interpreter hours needed annually by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), only 6 percent are carried out by licenced court interpreters, SR reports.

And Sweden’s 1,000 licenced interpreters are only qualified in 36 languages, while the Migration Board receives cases in well over 100 languages.

As a result, most of Sweden’s 30,000 annual asylum seekers who require an interpreter are reliant on services from interpreters who haven’t gained accreditation.

And a recent study carried out by the Swedish Courts Administration (Domstolsverket) showed that licenced interpreters are of markedly better quality than unlicenced ones.

“You can see that the translations don’t flow in the way you’re used to with a qualified interpreter,” said the Courts Administration Ulla Pålsson, who led the investigation, to SR.

She added that poor quality translations can lead to misunderstandings and mistakes which Pålsson said the agency “cannot accept” within the Swedish judicial system.

Story continues below…

In order to address the situation, the government needs to launch an inquiry into how to train more interpreters, argued Pålsson.

In addition, she thinks that rules governing how interpreter services are supervised should be reviewed, something which was first proposed following a previous government inquiry six years ago.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:59 November 12, 2010 by Rizwan Rahim
Wow Wow wah wah............

a) upgrade the 5000 interpreters by licensing them

b) introduce a well check and balance system to justify suitability (periodic)

c) refine the asylum seekers pool and see talented and able bodies (languages)

d) encourage others with bi lingual or those who know the required languages

e) introduce a good incentive scheme for interpreters

f) record keep of those documented eg....some interpreters doesn't even know the exact words in Swedish such as "human rights" "freedom of expression"

"bureaucracy" "political prisoner" etc etc when spoken is respective languages
00:39 November 13, 2010 by GLO
Stop inviting people to dinner for free. Oh! after they burn your house down dont complain.
06:24 November 13, 2010 by ericrufinosiah
I do agree with GLO in that stop inviting people to dinner for free because when

you have got no funds to buy free dinner then the people you had invited would definitely cause problems for you and others.So,you cant blame Jimme Akesson

if he calls for an end to buy free dinner for all those healthy man perhaps they

should divert their attention to some real poor souls in Iraq,whereby their churches

were being attacked and many of the worshippers were killed .These people

never asked for free dinner,so the Swedish Government should act on ,quickly.
08:11 November 14, 2010 by jaysea32
To ensure the future stability of Swedish generations down the road, just learn to say "NO" in 100 languages. There's no obligation for Sweden to import anyone. Just look at the problems in France and the U.K., to say nothing of the massive problems in the U.S., with lax immigration practices. Why subject Sweden to the same?
14:37 November 16, 2010 by tigger007

it's all about keeping up with the jones(north america). the multicultural sociality!! it's a real bi##/tch!

@GLO good comment!
15:22 November 16, 2010 by hisham
I notice how really really polite and cultural comments are posted by some readers !

it just reflect their way of thinking
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