Seeking asylum in Scandinavia: a comparative analysis of recent restrictive policy responses towards unaccompanied afghan minors in Denmark, Sweden and Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionComparative Migration Studies. 2021, 9, . 10.1186/s40878-020-00221-1
This article investigates recently imposed restrictions in the asylum regimes in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The purpose of the paper is twofold. First, we aim to identify general changes in asylum policies and asylum legislation. Second, we discuss and compare the policy tools, practices and legislation that have undermined the rights of unaccompanied Afghan minors. We also observe new tools of internal and external deterrence and restrictive asylum policies, combined with tighter border controls. In the case of adult asylum seekers from Afghanistan, high rejection rates and deportations were used for years as an important tool of deterrence. However, these tools were seldom used against unaccompanied Afghan minors before the large influx of asylum seekers in 2015. Since 2015, increased use of rejections, combined with temporary protections, have emerged as the major tools for restriction. We identify similarities and differences in the policy restrictions targeting unaccompanied minors between the countries. Although we identify some recent diverging trends in Scandinavian asylum policies regarding unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan, the general trend of policy restrictions still prevails in all three countries.