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rutor 2018 februari
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HEMENGLISHFARR policy in EnglishLegal and safe pathways to protection

Legal and safe pathways to protection

It’s impossible to mention asylum without also mentioning the lack of legal pathways to asylum and the death tolls on the borders. A couple of years ago, one push-back incident provoked public enragement. Today push-back incidents are the new normal. And so are the rising death tolls amongst migrants trying to reach safety and the building of walls against those in need of protection along with the return of individuals, even to torture, in Libya.

These catastrophic images broadcasted from the borders of Europe also contribute to the misleading image that the entire refugee population of the world is making its way to Europe.

The fact that refugees are forced to use human smugglers to reach safety makes an impact on the Swedish public discourse about migration as well. The use of human smugglers and forged passports sheds suspicion upon refugees amongst the general public and helps feed the notion that refugees are criminals, which right-wing populist forces are desperate to establish. Additionally, the quality of the asylum procedure deteriorates when the focus is diverted from the asylum claims to identification documents and travel routes.

The Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups appreciates the work that the UNHCR conducts in order to create safe pathways to protection and to increase the world’s awareness of the refugee experience.

We just can't understand why asylum cannot be sought in a decent way, just as residence permits are sought for work or studies.

Unfortunately, the Swedish government’s approach has increasingly been that Sweden should not do more than any other EU state to provide refugees with protection. This approach is deeply lamentable. Sweden could alternatively highlight the positive aspects of migration for example on economic development. Our voice could have been used to inspire other states, rather than to deter them from their obligations.

 

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