Afghan minister asks Norway to stop deporting minors

Immigration Minister Sylvi ListhaugImmigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug.Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

At a meeting with Sylvi Listhaug, Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Hekmat Karzai, has asked Norway to let young Afghan asylum seekers stay in Norway until they turn 18.

The meeting between Karzai and the Immigration and Integration Minister took place in Oslo this week, reported Aftenposten newspaper.

According to Karzai, among other matters, the two politicians talked about Norway being one of two countries in Europe which during the past year forcibly returned children to Afghanistan.

The situation in Norway is similar to Sweden, but conditions in Afghanistan have so deteriorated that Sweden are more generous with asylum applications from there.

‘It’s about international principles on human rights, and standards, that state that one can not deport children. That is where there is a border that we should not cross. Norway is known for its respect for human rights and international agreements’, said Karzai.

He suggested that instead of deportation, Norway let kids remain here until they are 18 years old, and then they may return to their home country.

‘We exchanged some ideas of things that could be done, especially for minors. One should look at opportunities to give these kids training, or education, in Norway until they are 18, at which point they will be either deported or given residency’, he said.

He pointed out that the situation has deteriorated in his homeland, giving the example that among other things, six Red Cross staff were killed, and two abducted, in northern Afghanistan earlier this week, and the day after, 19 people were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul.

He is unsure whether Listhaug is going to follow up and carry through his recommendations, and Listhaug did not even want to comment on the meeting
to the press.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today