New report shows failure to investigate child disappearances from asylum reception centres in Norway

by zoejardiniere

15.02.13 A report published this week by the Norwegian Institute for Social Research (ISF) found systematic failures in the following up of cases of disappearances of unaccompanied children asylum seekers from reception centres in Norway. 85 children have disappeared from such centres in the past year alone, and according to the report, nobody is taking responsibility for this issue.
According to a previous report published earlier this year by Press Save the Children Youth, the majority of the children who disappeared between 2008 and 31 August 2012 had been notified that their asylum application would be processed under the Dublin system.
Furthermore, ISF finds systematic failures to follow up and investigate cases where children are suspected victims of human trafficking, often due to a dearth of hard evidence.
ISF underlines that while the youngest unaccompanied asylum seekers receive childcare, children between the ages of 15 and 18 must take on responsibilities that are inappropriate for their age.
According to ISF, the reception provisions are adequate for short stays of three to five months, but the system is failing for ‘long-term’ residents who are contesting the decisions on their cases or whose asylum applications have been rejected.
The report, which was commissioned by the Norwegian Immigration Authorities noted that the prolonged situation of uncertainty over their futures is detrimental to the mental and physical health of children and that long-term residence in the centres has an adverse effect on class attendance, as well as sleep patterns and general feeling of security.
There are 288 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children currently in reception centres in Norway, 50 of whom are considered ‘long-term’ residents.