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Toddler Haddile not granted refugee status

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Toddler Haddile not granted refugee status
10:37 CEST+02:00
Three-year-old Haddile, who faced deportation after being abandoned in Sweden and assaulted by her stepfather, was not granted a refugee status in Sweden or the resulting permanent residency, migration authorities said on Monday.

The toddler, who was abandoned by her mother just days after her birth and then allegedly abused by her stepfather before being taken in by foster parents, sparked outrage among Swedes when news of the case emerged in September last year.

The Migration Court of Appeals (Migrationsdomstolen) ruled on Monday that the three-year-old will not be given refugee status in Sweden, which means she will not get permanent residency. In late May, Haddile was granted a two-year residency permit.

The girl's lawyer, Carl Olof Lindberg, believes the case should be appealed, and plans to take the matter to the Migration Supreme Court of Appeals (Migrationsöverdomstolen), stating that Haddile would be under threat if she were to return to Algeria, the home land of her mother.

"My reaction is that the court has not looked deeply enough into the connection of Algeria to this case," Lindberg told Sveriges Radio.

The girl's mother, who also has French citizenship, disappeared 20 days after giving birth at a hospital in Lund in the south of Sweden. Her stepfather took care of her after the mother's disappearance but he was accused of abuse after the baby girl was admitted to hospital with serious brain damage at the age of four months.

The child then ended up in foster care and her foster parents have said they are willing to adopt her.

But when the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) tried to deport Haddile to France to reunite her with her mother, tens of thousands of Swedes signed a petition condemning the move, prompting the agency in October to delay the deportation decision.

As Haddile had been born and raised in Sweden, only knows the Swedish language, and had bonded with her foster family in southern Sweden, many questioned whether deporting her was in her best interests.

TT/The Local/og

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