Sweden plans Kabul centre for child returnees

Sweden plans Kabul centre for child returnees
The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) is holding talks with Afghani authorities about opening a centre in Kabul for unaccompanied children and young people whose asylum applications have been rejected in Sweden.

According to the Migration Board, children will stay at the centre until they are collected by relatives, Sveriges Radio (SR) reports.

If no relative comes for a child, he or she will be allowed to stay at the centre until reaching adult age.

The centre is primarily intended to host minors who have returned to Afghanistan voluntarily, but there is also a possibility that children who have been deported from Sweden will be sent there in the future.

“When you land in Kabul with the intention of travelling on from there, it is not always possible to leave directly as transportation is limited so we think it would be good if there was some form of reception centre, where you can land before travelling on,” Ulrik Åshuvud, the Migration Board’s process manager for returnees told SR.

The planned reception centre is part of a joint project between Sweden, Norway, Great Britain and Holland. It was initiated after an increase in unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Europe.

Åshuvud stressed that the centre is not meant to be an orphanage. The children are only supposed to stay for a few weeks, though there could be exceptions.

The search for the children’s relatives should start before they return. The Migration Board expects this to speed up the process of reuniting minors with their families once they are back in Afghanistan.

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

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