Nine: Unaccompanied migrant youth in the Nordic countries


This chapter explores the ambiguities and changes in regulations concerning unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors within, as well across, the Nordic countries, with regard to the gap between restrictions, new policies and practices on one hand, and the human rights standards set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and in immigrant-related legislation on the other. The chapter focuses on Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The chapter draws on research combining studies on documents and legal analyses (human rights conventions, national laws, regulations and court cases); an analysis of quantitative data from immigration authorities to identify particular areas of concern; and qualitative research, including fieldwork and interviews with unaccompanied minors, staff in reception centres, legal guardians and immigration authorities. The chapter highlights the growth in the discourse and policy of stricter immigration regulations over the best interests of the child.

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