Advocacy efforts for refugees rights in Sweden

April 10, 2024

On the 10th of April, Help in Change took part in a Migration and refugees forum with Minister of Migration, Maria Malmer Stenegard.

The main discussion topic was “The key сhallenges facing Swedish society in migration”. The Minister of Migration led a meeting focused on adapting Swedish migration policy to align with EU standards, emphasizing the need for reform to enhance internal control.

Key focus areas:

1. Facilitating the return of refugees to their home countries, where feasible.

2. Minimizing long-term negative consequences.

3. Enhancing support for Ukraine.

Various organizations working with refugees, such as Amnesty Sverige, Beredskapslyftet, Caritas Sweden,  Civil Rights Defenders, ECPAT, FARR, Judiska Församlingen i Stockholm, Nordic Forum, Swedish Red Cross, UNICEF, Rädda Barnen - Save the Children Sweden, RFSL, Svenska kyrkan, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, were invited to the forum to provide insights and shed light on areas potentially overlooked by the Ministry.

Highlighted Discussion Topics:

- Refugee children's rights

- Vulnerable asylum seekers, including families with multiple children and those at risk upon turning 18 without stable income

- Risk of increased criminality due to insufficient integration support

- Equality of rights for all asylum seekers

Help in Change, was represented by Ekaterina Pchenikova and Ira Sjölund, advocating for Ukrainians, along with Beredskapslyftet and Nordic Ukraine Forum, raised concerns regarding proposed legislation:

- The special regulation and exclusion from the main asylum process may necessitate additional government resources (time and money) and potentially lead to increased errors.

- Unreasonable inequality in the treatment of refugees – What are the reasons?

- Negative impact on vulnerable Ukrainian groups, such as young adults (18-20 years old), seniors (66+), and large families, should be considered.

- Access to student aid (CSN) and dental care is a concern.

- Transition process for Ukrainians after the temporary directive ends remains unclear.

The Minister acknowledged specific concerns, particularly regarding access to dental care and CSN support.

For further details and to join our advocacy efforts for Ukrainian rights in Sweden, read our position statement on the proposed legislation or reach out to our colleague Anna Zoteeva to discuss the topic in more depth.

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