33 per cent decline in forced returns among asylum seekers

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5,434 asylum seekers were forced to leave Norway in 2017. This is 60 percent of the government’s target, which is 9,000 and 33 percent fewer than in 2016. “The return is related to the number of asylum arrivals. We have now had two years of low arrivals, which affects the number of forced returns the police are carrying out”, explains chief of police immigration unit (PU), Morten Hojem Ervik.

Traveling alone

918 of the asylum seekers this year were sent to leave Norway after the rejection of asylum application, and 461 were sent to other countries they had been before they applied for asylum in Norway. According to PU, the amount of people that return to their home country has increased. 452 of the people come from Romania, followed by 373 from Albania. 234 minors were transported, of which 220 were part of families, and 14 were traveling alone.

The data shows that nearly four out of ten, 38.7 percent, who were transported were convicted of a criminal offense. This is an increase from 2016 when 28 percent of the returned were imprisoned. Romania, Poland, and Lithuania were the three most represented nationalities among sentenced persons. In total, these three countries represented 42 percent.

“This is very important for the fight against crime. There is no doubt that this effort will save the community significant costs”, says Hojem Ervik in a press release.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today