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Housing woes worsen for Sweden's refugee children

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11:00 CEST+02:00
A lack of local housing for refugee children without parents means that many remain stuck in temporary transit accommodation, unable to enter Swedish society. Authorities now demand the state take back responsibility for the issue.

A void of local housing options leaves many unaccompanied refugee children stranded in temporary transit quarters and unable to fully move forward with their new life in Sweden.

With 500 placements needed, authorities with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges kommuner och landsting, SKL) now urge the state to reassume responsibility for the issue.

“When the laws and rules were determined, only a handful of unaccompanied refugee children were discussed, now it's nearly 2,500 that come to four communities in Sweden. It is a system that has collapsed,” Vice Chairman of SKL Lennart Gabrielsson told Sveriges Television (SVT).

The number of unaccompanied child refugees in Sweden has increased dramatically each year.

According to reports, 388 unaccompanied refugee children entered the country in 2004. Last year the number had swelled to 2,393 and figures from 2011 appear to be no exception to the exponential growth.

In 2010, Malmö, one of the nation's four arrival municipalities for these child refugees, had to create a new site for transit accommodation every other week to cope with the droves of arriving youth.

The children, who are already coping with life without parents, are staying upwards of six months in transit housing, which is designed for the refugee children to stay for only a few weeks before being placed elsewhere in the country.

SKL officials also seek compensation and additional assistance for the municipalities that receive and raise the children.

A lack of local housing for refugee children without parents means that many remain stuck in temporary transit accommodation, unable to enter Swedish society. Authorities now demand the state take back responsibility for the issue.

A void of local housing options leaves many unaccompanied refugee children stranded in temporary transit quarters and unable to fully move forward with their new life in Sweden.

With 500 placements needed, authorities with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges kommuner och landsting, SKL) now urge the state to reassume responsibility for the issue.

“When the laws and rules were determined, only a handful of unaccompanied refugee children were discussed, now it's nearly 2,500 that come to four communities in Sweden. It is a system that has collapsed,” Vice Chairman of SKL Lennart Gabrielsson told Sveriges Television (SVT).

The number of unaccompanied child refugees in Sweden has increased dramatically each year.

According to reports, 388 unaccompanied refugee children entered the country in 2004. Last year the number had swelled to 2,393 and figures from 2011 appear to be no exception to the exponential growth.

In 2010, Malmö, one of the nation's four arrival municipalities for these child refugees, had to create a new site for transit accommodation every other week to cope with the droves of arriving youth.

The children, who are already coping with life without parents, are staying upwards of six months in transit housing, which is designed for the refugee children to stay for only a few weeks before being placed elsewhere in the country.

SKL officials also seek compensation and additional assistance for the municipalities that receive and raise the children.

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