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Euro-Med Monitor slams Sweden’s recent residency law


With their living conditions and residency regularly threatened, refugees cannot participate, search for stable jobs and establish a normal life in Sweden, said the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor.

The status and need for protection of refugees will be routinely checked, and their stability threatened because of the new law enacted by the Swedish parliament.

The law prevents migrants and refugees from becoming permanent residents and distances them from the Swedish community.

Euro-Med Monitor added that the new law was approved by the Swedish parliament last month. It came into effect after July 20, replacing a provisional law introduced five years ago to reduce the then-unprecedented number of asylum claims.

At the end of April, the law presented by the Social Democrat-Green government time-limits refugee residence permits instead as in the 2016 temporary law, rather than permanent since 1984.

Temporary residence permits granted to refugees are valid for three years unless “compelling considerations of national security or public order require a shorter period of validity,” then they’re granted new 2-year permits.

People who are “exceptionally distressed” or at risk of torture, death penalty or other severe threats in their country of origin are granted permits valid for only 13 months despite their high vulnerability.

Residence permits will only be renewed if the refugee’s situation does not change, but this seems far-fetched as it’s not legally certain nor predictable.

Some EU member states considered certain countries safe despite evidence that a particular country was not, like Denmark with Syria and Sweden with Afghanistan.

This change will affect refugees and all other non-EU foreigners who live in Sweden and seek to settle there permanently.

Under the new legislation, the possibility of family reunification will be denied if a sponsor is not able to support family members or does not have “a home of an adequate size” in Sweden.

Last year, a Migration Committee was set up to develop a “humane, legally secure and effective” plan for migration. Still, such rules make Sweden the lowest in the EU’s migration policy list, especially when children are included within the legislation.

“The decision on temporary permits will spark uncertainty, fear and insecurity among the refugees living in Sweden and will impose additional pressure and obstacles to the wellbeing and integration of people already in vulnerable situations,” said Michela Pugliese, a migration and refugee researcher at Euro-Med.

“Every two years all refugees will have to undergo a distressing re-assessment of their condition and of their life. It is difficult to feel and become part of Swedish society, to study, work and develop ties peacefully, if your life there is literally running out of time,” she added.

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