Thousands of children disappear in Swedish asylum process

Thousands of children disappear in Swedish asylum process
A protest against deportations in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Around 4,492 children have gone off the radar in Sweden after receiving a deportation notice from their asylum application in the last four years, newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) reports.

The figure includes both lone refugee children and children who came to the country with their parents. In the first two months of 2018 alone, 223 children disappeared, figures from the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) show.

That's compared to 152 kids disappearing during the same month in 2017.

At present there are no national guidelines for how children who disappear during the asylum process should be treated. At the end of 2017 the Ombudsman for Children in Sweden published a report on the matter, and made a number of proposals for how the Swedish government could develop guidelines for the cases.

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The Ombudsman also proposed ways that missing children in the asylum process could be sought, as well as how to prevent them from disappearing in the first place.

“None of the proposals have been examined or implemented,” Deputy Ombudsman for Children Anna Karin Hilingson Boqvist said to DN.

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