Ombudsman for Children concerned about asylum centres

Ombudsman Anne LindboeOmbudsman Anne Lindboe.Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

The Ombudsman for Children is concerned about the situation of unaccompanied minors in Norwegian asylum centres. The background is several reports of disappearances and attempted suicides.

The Ombudsman has according to VG sent a letter about this matter to the Ministry of Justice.

– The reason we sent this letter is that there is growing concern about unaccompanied minors in reception centres. We get more and more information from parents and staff at reception centres warning about attempted suicides, self-harming and an increased number of disappearances, according to Ombudsman Anne Lindboe.

The Ombudsman is also concerned about a disturbingly high rate of school absences, in some cases up to 70 percent.

“The main cause of the problems we now see among unaccompanied minors is a policy that leads to insecurity and hopelessness.

The situation many unaccompanied minors are in now, which for many constitutes staying in a reception centre, indefinitely, we believe is depriving them their rights under the [Human Rights] Convention “, states a letter from the Ombudsman.

The government is taking the situation very seriously, acting Minister for Immigration and Integration, Per Sandberg, told the newspaper VG.

– Therefore, we have initiated a number of measures to assist in the difficult situations related to unaccompanied minor asylum seekers in Norwegian reception centres.

Unaccompanied minors are given priority at all stages of the immigration administration – whether by registration, accommodation, processing and settlement, says Sandberg.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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