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Swedish reform to let more refugee kids stay

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09:08 CEST+02:00
Sweden's Green Party and the government have agreed to lower the requirements needed for refugee children to get residence permits for Sweden.

Even children who have been refused asylum have a chance of a reassessment if they appeal, according to the new law, which will take effect mid-2014.

"More children will be eligible for assessment with this clarification, and therefore granted residency permits," Migration Minister Tobias Billström told the TT news agency.

The current law demanding "extremely compassionate circumstances" has been changed to "particularly compassionate circumstances", allowing more children the possibility of living legally in Sweden.

The law change apply to both children looking for asylum with their family and to unaccompanied minors. The goal is for the new rules to come into place from the beginning of July next year.

"We're really happy to be able to make this happen. It's something we've fought a long time for," said Maria Ferm, the Green Party's migration spokeswoman.

Every asylum case is treated individually in Sweden and the regulations take splitting up the family into account in each instance. But more adults with connections to the children will get residency permits with the new legislation, Ferm explained.

There will be no retroactive applications or transitional rules. Appeals from children who are still in court when the legislation shifts will be considered according to the new laws.

TT/The Local/og

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