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rutor 2018 februari
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HEMENGLISHFARR policy in EnglishThe situation for stateless asylum-seekers in Sweden

The situation for stateless asylum-seekers in Sweden

FARR is deeply concerned about the situation of stateless asylum seekers in Sweden.
Sweden, in contravention to its obligations under the 1954 Convention does not consider statelessness as grounds for protection, nor does it consider a stateless refugee’s ability to return to their country of previous habitual residence as grounds for protection.

No comprehensive determination of an applicant’s potential statelessness takes place during the asylum procedure. Thus, in certain situations the SMA is not able to determine the citizenship or statelessness of the applicant. A stateless asylum-seeker has to raise their statelessness themselves during their interview with the Swedish Migration Agency. In contrast to the UNHCR guidance on the shared burden of proof in establishing statelessness, the burden of proof by and large lies with the applicant themselves. Moreover, the standard of proof is set high. A stateless asylum seeker is expected to prove that they have done everything in their power to be accepted for entry into their previous country of habitual residence even though it is clear from the beginning that any such measures would be fruitless or also that no documentation can be produced to show that the individual has attempted to perform the measures expected from him or her.

Thus, many stateless asylum seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected are met with deportation orders to their former host countries despite lacking residency permits or necessary documentation to enter the countries and thus effectively find themselves in limbo.
A government inquiry was conducted in 2017, recommending the adoption of legislation which would enable the issue of practical hindrances to the enforcement of a deportation order should be considered already in the assessment of the asylum claim and that such obstacles to the enforcement of a deportation decision should establish grounds for a residence permit. However, no further measures have been taken by the government in order to transform these recommendations into a legislative bill. Meanwhile, stateless asylum seekers are left in a state of limbo and unable to start their lives for a further number of years.

According to the new law adopted in 2016, a residence permit can be renewed for as long as the need for protection still exists. Given that Sweden does not grant the right of residence to a person based solely on a person’s statelessness, the restrictions to permanent residence following the law adopted in 2016 could lead to some stateless refugees seeing their right to temporary protection cease, but without being offered any other form of status.

 

tom-35

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