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Refugee boys in Gothenburg selling sex to survive, charity says

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Refugee boys in Gothenburg selling sex to survive, charity says
File photo of a lone refugee boy in Sweden not related to the story. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
14:12 CET+01:00
Lone refugee boys and young men are supporting themselves by selling sex to older men on Gothenburg's streets, according to charity Gothenburg Rescue Mission (Göteborgs Räddingsmission).

The head of the organization's work supporting sex workers in Gothenburg told public broadcaster SVT that more and more young boys are being spotted meeting with older men on the streets of Sweden's second city.

“We are seeing more and more of them on the streets at night. We get a lot of tip-offs that they're being seen leaving places with older men, either driving away or walking away,” Caroline Casco of Göteborgs Räddningsmission told broadcaster SVT.

Casco added that Göteborgs Räddningsmission comes into regular contact with the city's sex workers as it attempts to try and help them find a safer way to live:

“We have also received tip-offs that young men in that group can be found in apartment brothels. It's a worrying development.”

According to the charity, many of the boys are young asylum seekers from Afghanistan, who opt not to leave Sweden after having their asylum application rejected.

Gothenburg Police said they have heard about the issue, but had little concrete information to work with.

“We have heard talk of that info but we haven't received any intelligence, nor concrete leads,” Erik Nord, head of police in Greater Gothenburg told SVT.

In Sweden, minors refused asylum cannot be directly sent back to any country which does not have an orderly system of processing them back in, though they can be given temporary residence permits then deported when they turn 18.

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