A Study of Unaccompanied Afghan Asylum-Seeking Children in Sweden

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A Study of Unaccompanied Afghan Asylum-Seeking Children in Sweden

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title A Study of Unaccompanied Afghan Asylum-Seeking Children in Sweden
Author(s) Momenian, Marziyeh
Date 2014
English abstract
This study aims to draw attention to the stories of Afghan unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Sweden; their reasons to leave Afghanistan and to migrate to Sweden, the way that they migrate, and the problems they face during their journey to Sweden are investigated. In order to achieve the aims of this study, a qualitative method is used based on semi-structured interviews. Altogether, eight people are interviewed of which six are Afghan male unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, one is a legal guardian and one is an assistant (behandlingsassistent). Theories such as push and pull factors, migration industry theory, transit migration theory, and social network theory help to understand better the stories of Afghan unaccompanied children while analyzing the data. The data obtained from interviews shows that the children who were leaving Afghanistan had mixed motivations. Factors such as lack of security, violence, threats, individual risks associated with their ethnicity, forced recruitment, economic hardship and political reasons push them to leave Afghanistan. My findings show that the main reason for the children to leave Afghanistan is the harassment and violence against the ethnic group Hazara. Moreover, the data demonstrates that traveling with smugglers and crossing borders, by land or by sea, is a multiple-step procedure for Afghan unaccompanied children. They have many stops along the way and spend lots of time in different transit countries. The journey is full of risks for them. My interviews reveal that transit migration creates a number of problems for these children. In addition, this study indicates that the role of social networks is of great importance for these children. The smugglers create strong incentives for their decision to claim asylum in Sweden. Moreover, co-migrants and friends of friend who live in Europe play a significant role in their decision-making. Furthermore, restrictive legislations as well as lack of protection in transit countries make onward migration inevitable. Other factors, such as the probability of getting a residence permit and family reunification, are important for Afghan unaccompanied children to choose Sweden as a destination country.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 72
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Afghan Unaccompanied Children
Asylum Seekers
Migration Reasons
Transit Migration
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/17974 (link to this page)

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