UDI offers unaccompanied minors money to go home to Afghanistan
Since May, UDI has offered travel support, health care and money to unaccompanied minors who will travel back and reunite with caretakers in Afghanistan.
This information is obtained from a letter VG has gained access to. According to the agreement, young Afghans are offered airline tickets to their home country, a health check, vaccines and assistance in obtaining necessary travel documents. Additionally, an offer of NOK 42,000 in cash is offered in the form of reintegration support during four years.
At the same time, the caretaker on the other end receives an offer of NOK 10,000 to cooperate. UDI confirms that the scheme exists, but points out that it applies only to those who have someone who can take care of them.
– No children returned to Afghanistan under this program unless we know that the caretakers have agreed to the return. Guardians traveling to and from Kabul are paid for so that they are present in Kabul at the time of the child’s arrival. The child can not get on the plane in Oslo unless it is confirmed that the guardians are actually present in Kabul, says senior consultant Merethe Bjørkli in UDI to the newspaper.
At the same time, she says that UDI currently has no active work on returning unaccompanied minor asylum seekers without a known caretaker in their home country.
So far this year, 698 people in this category have received answers to their asylum applications. For 331 of them – 47 percent – the answer was that they may remain in Norway until they reach 18 years old. In 2016 and 2015, the proportion was 14 and 1.3 percent, respectively.
Simultaneously there has been a steady decline in the number of Afghan asylum seekers to Norway. So far, 21 unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan have applied for asylum in Norway this year, according to UDI’s numbers. Last year, the number was 128. This is a drastic decline from 2015, when the figure was 3.537.
UDI regards two of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces as insecure, but believes it is safe, among other places, to return asylum seekers to Kabul.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today