Thursday, April 07, 2005

‘Apathetic’ children refused Swedish residency

I know this may sound like a joke, but I assure you it's not. Apparently, some asylum seekers in Sweden are suffering from a mysterious illness, that can only be cured by getting permanent residency in Sweden:

‘Apathetic’ children refused Swedish residency

Against the backdrop of an emotionally charged debate, Swedish Parliament on Wednesday voted against granting permanent residency to a number of ‘apathetic’ asylum-seeking children, putting Sweden’s humanitarian image into question. The fate of around 150 asylum-seeking children hung in the balance on Wednesday morning. Outside Swedish Parliament, representatives from Save the Children were handing out leaflets pleading with politicians to give them a second chance in life. As reported in Wednesday’s Svenska Dagbladet, some of the children are affected by symptoms of depression and the proposal recommended they should be assessed by a special expert group of child doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists. MP’s voted 124 to 171 against the proposal.

“I want a Sweden which doesn’t throw out sick children,” said Folkpartiet's Mauricio Rojas. Standing at the helm of the debate, Migration minister Barbro Holmberg said giving special treatment could increase the risk for even more asylum children to become apathetic. “That risk I am not prepared to take,” she told Aftonbladet. Enraged by Holmberg’s comments, Green Party MP Gustav Fridolin said he considered it almost racist to suggest that asylum families would manipulate their children in order to obtain permanent residency in Sweden.

Critics Blast Parliament for Failing Depressed Refugees

The Swedish archbishop has joined the sharp wave of criticism against the Swedish parliament’s decision not to give blanket amnesty to the 600 refugee children – paralyzed by depression and no longer eating or drinking. Some Swedish newspaper editorial writers are very critical of the statement from the minister in charge of immigration who claims that some of the children said to be too depressed to eat or drink really get out of their beds in the evenings and run around in good health. The editorials maintain that statements like this feed anti-immigrant feelings in Sweden.


At April 08, 2005 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This condition is not known to have occured in any great numbers in Norway. Strange that the two refugee populations in Norway and Sweden differs on this...


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