143 young people have disappeared from Norwegian asylum receptions
143 children and young people have disappeared from the Norwegian asylum receptions in 2017. More than half of them were waiting to be sent out of Norway when they reach 18.
Figures from the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) show that from January to April this year there were 143 single asylum seekers who disappeared from Norwegian asylum reception and whose whereabouts are still unknown, NRK reports.
Fear of being returned
– We believe the reason for more disappearances is that several have been granted a time-limited permit.
– They may be afraid to get such a permit or a refusal, thereby fear to be returned at the age of 18, says Heidi Vibeke Pedersen. She is Assistant Head of Department in UDI.
During the same period last year, there were just under 50 children and young people who disappeared from the receptions. In total, 182 single, minor asylum seekers disappeared last year.
According to the UDI’s statistics, 119 of the young people who have disappeared so far this year were 17 years old. Several of the children had a so-called limited residence permit.
– It tells us that these are children who have a huge fear of being sent out on the when they become 18 years old and being sent back to war.
– We know that many of them who disappear, have a temporary residence permit and know that they will be sent out at age 18, says Øystein Kolstad Kvalø, Press Contact for the youth organization Redd Barna (Save the Children).
Free to go
Pedersen says it’s the recipients who take care of the young people, and should work preventative to avoid them leaving the receptions.
– But young people can leave the reception whenever they want, without having the authority to hold them back, says Pedersen.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today