Erna Solberg says it’s ‘unwise to stop repatriating youngsters to Afghanistan’

condolencesPrime Minister, Erna Solberg.Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix

Prime Minister, Erna Solberg of Høyre (H) said that she believes it is unwise to halt the transit of persons over the age of 18 to Afghanistan.


‘There are no reasons to stop the returns, it would break with the practice of other European countries, and would make Norwegian asylum policy less predictable, and thus less fair,’ the prime minister wrote in a blog post on Saturday night.

She emphasised that Afghans with a need for protection will get it, regardless of age.
‘The question is whether we should say that as long as they come from Afghanistan, we will not send them back,’ Solberg wrote.

Sosialistisk Venstreparti (SV) wants to stop the returns
On Tuesday, SV presented an urgent draft motion to parliament on Immediate Suspension of Enforcement Transports to Afghanistan for Young Asylum Seekers. The proposal did not receive a majority, but the party made two new proposals that they sent to the other parties before the weekend.

One proposal applies for an immediate pause of returns of children who came to Norway before they reached 18. This would include families with children. The other applies to unaccompanied minors who received temporary residence until they reached the age of 18, the so-called ‘October children.’

According to the proposals, both of these groups should stay in Norway until parliament has considered whether a committee of experts should be set up to investigate asylum practices, and give security assessments in Afghanistan.

The proposal will be discussed in parliament on Tuesday. Venstre (V) has also announced a separate proposal to prevent young people who came to Norway as minors from being returned there when they have reached 18.

Returning them could lead to more Afghan asylum seekers Solberg said she understands that many people think it’s wrong that young Afghans be sent back to a country with security challenges, but believes the Norwegian Immigration Department (UDI),and UNE are carefully considering the situation in Afghanistan.

She fears that returning them could help more Afghan asylum seekers coming to Norway, and that Afghan citizens who are staying illegally in other countries in Europe will come to Norway.

‘I am also worried that if parliament had gone into the concrete safety assessments about this case, then the threshold will be lowered, and we’d do it again later,’ Solberg wrote.


©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today