As if Sweden’s struggles with so-called “underage refugees” were not enough, new hits just keep on coming. Of late, the problem of sexual relations between employees and inmates has sprung to the media’s attention, intensifying the debate.
The town of Åmål has launched an investigation into a local refugee accommodation, where a female employee reportedly gave a lap dance and had intimate relations with minor inmates. According to Swedish national broadcaster SVT, the problem of sexual proximity between underage refugees and personnel may persist in other homes as well.
A video published by SVT, shows a female employee give a youth sitting in a chair a lap dance during an unknown celebration at a refugee accommodation. In addition, SVT’s informants revealed several cases of intimate relations between staff and inmates.
“This is not okay, of course. Such an approach to children they work with does not look professional,” Maria Björklund, the head of a unit at the Health and Social Care Inspectorate (IVO) told SVT.
Ivan Stipic of Åmål Municipality pointed out that it is unacceptable for staff to celebrate and imbibe alcohol with people under their patronage. According to him, an incident was reported to social services, which in turn will decide whether to file a police report.
In another related case, a YouTube video uploaded by the signature Videomannen explicitly suggesting sexual motives in female refugee volunteers incited the ire of the women’s network Vi Står Inte Ut (“We can’t stand it”), which unites volunteers in the asylum industry. The video, which utilizes screenshots and photos from the network’s own Facebook group featuring middle-aged women posing with “refugee children,” some of which appear to be in their thirties, sparked a controversy, yet was denounced by female activists and subsequently reported to the police, Swedish news outlet Fria Tider reported. Vi Står Inte Ut is known for demanding amnesty for all underage refugee children residing in Sweden.
In late May, the National Forensic Medicine Agency released its first results of age tests on request from the Migration Board. Around 76 percent of the “underage children” surveyed proved to be 18 and over, which indirectly bolstered previous assertions that many asylum seekers were deliberately posing as minors to obtain more benefits. Nevertheless, the Swedish government does not intend to tear up resident permits issued on wrong grounds.
“Once you have made a decision, it applies. And if you’ve been granted asylum, so yes, you have the right to stay in Sweden,” Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson said during a parliamentary interview. At the same time, she agreed that it would be beneficial to use a more correct decision-making basis.
In 2015, Sweden received a record 35,000 asylum applications from “lone children,” followed by 2,200 in 2016. In 2016, “unaccompanied children” cost Swedish taxpayers 26 billion SEK ($3 bln), with the bill expecting to land at 19 billion SEK ($2.2 bln) this year, according to the Swedish newspaper Expressen.
Sweden’s neighbor Norway, however, has no qualms about having second thoughts. Last year alone, Norway revoked the citizenship it had erroneously granted to 65 people, with another possible 500 to be examined this year.
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