Norway to Send Back Half of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors

Half of the unaccompanied refugee minors (UAMs) who will turn 18 will be sent back to their country of origins.

Photo : Immigrati Lampedusa

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On June 1, 698 single minor asylum seekers received an answer to their applications. 331 of them, 47 percent , were told that they must be out of the country when they reach 18, writes VG.

Two years ago, only 1.3 percent of children were sent out of Norway.

Following the high arrivals of asylum seekers in 2008 and 2009, the Norwegian government introduced a number of restrictive measures two years ago. One such measure targeted UAMs between the ages of 16 and 18.

Those UAMs who did not qualify for asylum but who could not be returned for the sole reason that there was no proper care situation to return them to, would be granted a temporary permit without possibility of renewal. UAMs receiving this permit would only be allowed to remain in Norway until they turned 18.

Leading to Suicide and Anxiety

This permit has come under criticism from NGOs and other commentators, and it appears that some permit holders abscond from reception centres prior to the transition to adulthood in order to avoid return.

Also, the number of suicides attempts and anxiety disorders among this group has dramatically increased since the introduction of the law. Norwegian Immigration directorate (UDI) saw a significant deterioration in the situation of UAMs at reception centers.

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