Policies, Practices and Prospects: The Unaccompanied Minors in Sweden

Aycan Çelikaksoy, Eskil Wadensjö

Abstract

The number of children fleeing and/or seeking asylum alone without parents or guardians has been increasing during the last decade worldwide, where Sweden has been receiving the largest number of asylum claims by unaccompanied minors (UAM) in Europe. This paper addresses the Swedish case by giving an overview of the policies and practices in relation to the introductory stage determining how they are treated in Sweden. We also investigate the situation of UAM during their youth. While doing these we focus on areas where there is a need for improvement and we provide a model for a more incorporated approach that integrates the different stages that UAM go through in their lives. The introductory stage consists of the reception and the asylum process. The policies and practices in relation to the main sub-areas of the reception and asylum processes are discussed in relation to the well-being of this group and in relation to integration as well as consonance with the UN conventions.

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