May 13, 2013
The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) has enlisted the help of police negotiators in a bid to try to break hunger strikes by asylum-seekers in Boden, Gävle and Holmsund in northern Sweden.
“The police have unique skills for talking to people in extremely vulnerable situations,” said Mikael Ribbenvik at the board.
Refugees in Boden and Holmsund have been on hunger strike since mid-April, while asylum-seekers in Gävle began their protest a little over a week ago.
Most of the hunger-strikers are originally from Afghanistan and many have been taken to hospital for treatment in the course of the hunger strike.
All of those involved are seeking residency in Sweden, several have been rejected while others are waiting for rulings or plan to seek asylum elsewhere in the EU.
The Migration Board sought the help of the police on Friday to try to end the protest and the negotiators were deployed in Boden and Gävle on Saturday.
Work to end the hunger strike in Holmsund is due to begin on Sunday.
“We are very worried about their health, it is dangerous to hunger strike,” said Mikael Ribbenvik.
“At the same time we can’t solve a hunger strike by granting residency permits, there is no one who can change a ruling or decision by protest, we are thus looking for other ways to solve the matter.”
April 03, 2013
Sweden has more than doubled its orders to deport underage asylum seekers in the past year.
In 2012, the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) asked Swedish police to forcibly deport 144 minors who had sought asylum in Sweden.
A review of statistics by the Metro newspaper showed that number to be more than double from the year before, when 64 cases were handed over for the police to deal with.
It reflects that the number of children and teenagers whose applications to stay has increased. In 2012, the Migration Board declined to grant residence to 542 minors, a figure that stood at 370 only two years ago.
The numeric increase does not however mean that the proportion of underage asylum seekers being shown the door has gone up also, instead the total number of cases has increased.
There were 3,600 in 2012, compared to 2,600 cases in 2010.
Not all cases handed over to the police on paper end up in deportation. Metro reports that the police deported 34 minors last year. In 2010, they deported 11 minors.