During the autumn, JO Stefan Holgersson will begin a series of inspections focusing on unaccompanied minors to see if their basic rights are being respected.
Unaccompanied minors are a vulnerable group. Compared with other children, they are much more dependent on society being able to successfully solve issues regarding care, housing and school.
“There are many societal actors involved in matters concerning unaccompanied minors, so there is a risk that things slip through the net and children's rights are not sufficiently taken into consideration,” says JO Stefan Holgersson.
JO receives a relatively large number of reports regarding cases linked to unaccompanied minors, and the trend indicates that these reports are increasing. Examples of the subjects in these reports include the placement of married unaccompanied minors, the placement and relocation of unaccompanied minors and the children's schooling.
JO has also obtained observations from the Swedish Migration Agency, Human Rights Watch, the Inquiry on the rights of the child (SOU 2016:19), the Finnish Parliamentary Ombudsman and more, and has been informed on the specific review procedures carried out by the Swedish Schools Inspectorate and the Swedish Health and Social Care Inspectorate (IVO).
“All in all, it is my conclusion that there are grounds to further investigate how matters related to unaccompanied minors are processed in my supervisory areas. The focus of the review will be on seeing if legislation and regulations are correctly applied and if the authorities concerned need guidance when handling these matters,” says JO Stefan Holgersson.
The inspections focusing on the situation for unaccompanied minors will begin in autumn 2016 and the work is expected to be completed by 31 March 2017.