The number of asylum seeking minors requiring re-settlement in municipalities, is plunging, reports the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi).
In September last year local authorities were given permission to prepare for the re-settlement of 1,100 unaccompanied asylum seeking minors. Five months later, the figure dropped to 700, which is a decline of 36 percent.
The decline, is both due to less applicants than before, and fewer of them obtain a residence permit, which is a requirement for housing settlement, says IMDi Director Libe Rieber-Mohn to NTB news.
– The need for re-settlement is thus greatly reduced. It is important for us to inform all the municipalities. We have requested the municipalities to re-settle more than we need, she says.
Expecting 800 this year
Last year, re-settlement was provided for 15,988 refugees living in 411 municipalities, of which 1,599 were unaccompanied minors under 18 years.
This year, 800 unaccompanied minors are expected to seek asylum in Norway, according to UDI’s latest forecast. However, we are working on a new forecast, says UDI. Last year we had 320.
Rieber-Mohn hopes that the notification of the reduced need for re-settlement will not create hard feelings within the municipalities.
– The municipalities have made a tremendous effort and have been very flexible. Forecasting is uncertain and the numbers can change quickly, she says.
The number of re-settlements will be reduced by three criteria:
* The 20 municipalities that have settled the most, will be asked to settle fewer.
This applies to Arendal, Asker, Askøy, Bergen, Bodø, Bærum, Drammen, Fjell, Fredrikstad, Gjøvik, Hamar, Kristiansand, Lillehammer, Oslo, Rana, Ringerike, Salangen, Sandnes, Skien, Stavanger, Tromsø and Trondheim.
* Many municipalities have already made the decision as to how many unaccompanied minors they will receive, but they have not established specific measures yet and have been asked to put this on hold.
* Some local authorities have not responded yet to the request by IMDi regarding how many they can re-settle and they are being asked to delay their response.
Take into account
However, some municipalities have already made preparations for accepting unaccompanied minors.
– We try to take this into account. The most important thing is to get the information out at an early stage so that municipalities are not holding onto resources that will not be used, says Rieber-Mohn.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today