The responsibility for unaccompanied children is shared between various authorities, municipalities, county councils and regions. The County Administrative Board’s role is to coordinate the municipalities’ reception of unaccompanied children.
Every year children arrive in Sweden to seek asylum. Most of them are accompanied by their parents, but there are also those who arrive without a parent or other guardian. These children and adolescents are included in the term unaccompanied. The life paths and backgrounds of the children vary, but common to all is that they are in a vulnerable situation.
The Government, authorities, municipalities and county councils have a mutual responsibility for the reception of unaccompanied children in Sweden.
The responsibility, for the reception of unaccompanied children and adolescents, is shared between the municipalities, the County Administrative Board, The Swedish Migration Agency and several other authorities.
The Swedish Migration Agency has the overall responsibility for the reception of unaccompanied children. Among other things, this entails that the agency:
The County Administrative Board has a coordinating role in regards to the reception of unaccompanied children and focus is on developing regional cooperation.
The County Administrative Board will:
The assignment will be implemented on the basis of the convention.
The municipalities are responsible for the actual reception of unaccompanied children, that is to provide:
According to the Social Services Act, the municipality has the long-term responsibility for the child’s housing, support and protection. In the absence of a parent, the chief guardian of the municipality where the child is residing appoints a guardian that will speak for the child during the asylum process.
If the child is granted a residence permit, the municipality is responsible for the continued care and settlement of the child in Sweden, and will also appoint a special guardian (särskilt förordnad vårdnadshavare, SFV).
The municipality has the same responsibility for unaccompanied children as it has for other children residing in the municipality.
The County Council is responsible for providing unaccompanied children with the health care and dental care that they need. Asylum seeking children have the right to receive the same level of care as children that are residents in the country. When a person seeks asylum in Sweden, a health check is offered to them, which aims to provide a medical assessment of the person’s general health as well as identifying any special health care needs or disease control measures.
The reception of unaccompanied children shall be evenly distributed across the country. Therefore, the settlement assignment is based on a distribution model, where every municipality is assigned a number. The number is determined in December each year and applies one year at a time from January 1st.
The number is calculated from the municipality’s:
If an unaccompanied child seeks asylum in Sweden and has a close relative residing in a Swedish municipality, the child will be assigned to that same municipality. If the child doesn’t have a close relative, the child will be assigned to the municipality in line to receive unaccompanied children.
Read more about settlement assignments and compensation on the Swedish Migration Agency’s web site:
During 2016-2017, the County Administrative Boards had an assignment, which, among other things, entailed carrying out a national investigation on unaccompanied children that disappears, as well as suggesting measures to prevent disappearances. The assignment was coordinated by the County Administrative Board of Stockholm. According to the national investigation On the Run and Missing (På flykt och försvunnen), 1 829 children had been registered as missing during the period 2013 to May 2016, based on data from the Swedish Migration Agency. Reports also show that unaccompanied children are over represented in police reports on child trafficking, and they are at a high risk to become victims of trafficking and exploitation.
The County Administrative Boards have the assignment in 2018 to produce uniform regional routines for activities related to working with missing children. The County Board of Stockholm will continue to coordinate the assignment, support the counties’ work and administer the material produced in 2016-2017.
What is in the best interest of the children should be taken into account in The County Administrative Board’s work. The UN’s Rights of the Child’s four basic principles are important starting points for us:
County Administrative Board of Skåne
Phone 010-224 10 00