UDI closes eleven reception centres for minors

UDI Logo, minor asylum seekersLogo UDI. Photo Norway Today Media

This summer, eleven asylum reception centres for minor asylum seekers and six ordinary asylum receptions will also be closed down. Altogether, nearly 1,500 reception beds disappear.

– The closures have been anticipated for a long time, but have been postponed to prevent residents from having to move in the middle of a school year, according to the Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

In total there are 445 places for minors in the eleven reception centres.

– As far as feasible we try to avoid moving children and young people in the middle of a school year. When we now terminate the agreement with eleven centres, the move will take place during the summer vacation, says Deputy Director of UDI, Borghild Fløtre.

Three of the deprecated reception centres are located in Nordland, two in Troms, two in Vest-Agder, while Buskerud, Sør-Trøndelag, Hordaland and Aust-Agder all loose one.

In addition, the agreements with six other reception centres, totalling 1,030 seats are terminated. These are located in Møre og Romsdal, Troms, Vest-Agder, Telemark, Rogaland and Hordaland.

 Almost ten years since last time

In the last year, the number of inhabitants in the asylum reception centres in this country has dropped from 26,400 to 10,100 as we speak. It is almost ten years since there were so few asylum seekers in reception centres in Norway.

– Last time there were fewer than 10,000 residents was in the summer of 2008. At the end of June that year, 9,300 people were living in asylum receptions in Norway, Senior Advisor in UDI, Therese Bergwitz-Larsen told NTB.

The reason is that there are fewer asylum seekers coming to Norway and that several of the residents either live in a municipality or are compelled to leave Norway.

At the peak, during the winter of 2015/2016, the UDI had circa 39,000 places available in asylum receptions through the country. When this round of closures is completed, the UDI will have 10,700 places available. In addition, the arrival centre in Østfold has an additional 1000 seats.

 Predicts less than 7,000 asylum seekers

From the beginning of the year to mid-April, around 1,500 asylum seekers have come to Norway.

UDI’s current prediction is that there will be ~7,000 asylum seekers this year, which in that case will be twice as many as last year. 200 will come to Norway on their own Monthly.

The others who have arrived this year are retrieved from asylum receptions in Italy and Greece. Norway voluntarily participates in the EU’s Relocalization Program for asylum seekers and will receive 1,500 asylum seekers from these two countries combined.

Up to now, 1,000 of those have come to Norway.

UDI takes into account that the prediction might be too high and alerts that they will adjust the capacity if necessary.

UDI has an economic requirement that at least 85 per cent of the seats on a national basis will be used. This is the fourth time the UDI decreases the capacity so far this year. In March, five reception centres received notice of termination of contract.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today