Human Rights Watch reports on the rising number of unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Sweden in 2015. According to the report as many as 35,000 unaccompanied children sought asylum in Sweden in 2015, a stark increase over previous years, the majority of whom are from Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Eritrea, Iraq and Ethiopia. About half are 15 or younger, and 2,847 are girls. These children traveled on their own to Europe or became separated from their families in transit, and have often experienced trauma and violence.
Sweden has a long tradition of providing sanctuary to people in need of international protection and a well-developed system for unaccompanied asylum seeker and migrant children. Nevertheless, the report identifies several challenges that appeared in Sweden, especially when it comes to providing effective care to those unaccompanied minors, who require special protection.
Read the full report here.