Sweden's immigration agency (Migrationsverket) is powerless to enforce deportation orders, says a spokesman for the organisation, as more than 11,000 asylum seekers go underground in Sweden
An increasing proportion of refugees due to be deported from Sweden are instead disappearing. Last year Migrationsverket decided to expel more than 20,000 people. But the proportion of those leaving the country voluntarily after the expulsion order was reduced to 41%.
That left 11,112 set for police investigation Some of those were forcibly deported, but in most cases the refugees went underground.
According to Sverkar Spaak, of Migrationsverket, the vast majority of the "disappeared" are Dublin Regulation cases.
Under the Dublin Regulation, refugees are deported back to the first EU country they entered, often Italy or Greece, which have the worst welfare provision. But if refugees can delay their re-applications by18 months, they may be able to stay in Sweden, hence the motivation to go underground.
"It is clear that if you are from Syria you know that you are very likely get a residence permit in Sweden, so there is quite a strong incentive to keep away from authorities for 18 months to get your case heard here," says Spaak.
Spaak says the problem is further exacerbated by a lack of options for Migrationsverket when it comes to enforcing deportation orders.
"We do not have any system to control what they do. If one chooses to run we have no instruments to prevent it," he says.
Per-Uno Johansson, acting section chief of Migrationsverket, agrees with Spaak.
"We lack a lot of tools. Firstly, I think we would have to impose stricter requirements that identity is established before hearing the case here. And Sweden needs agreements with the respective countries that they will take back their nationals."