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Refugee policy: We must act now

Both the Labor Party and the government use children and young people to show the world how strict asylum and refugee policies can be. Strictly, yes – but how on earth can it be called fair?

(PS. This article is machine-translated from Norwegian)


There have never been more people fleeing the world than now. 65,3 millions of people flee from war, persecution and natural disasters, hoping for a better future. Half of these are children. Never before have so few people applied for asylum in Norway: Only 3460 people in 2016. Of these, 320 were children and young people who sought asylum all by themselves, with no one to take care of.

Norwegian asylum and refugee policy is a hot political topic. Who can have the strictest, but at the same time, the most just asylum policy? Competition is fierce between today's ruling party and the Labor Party.

No way left. In 2008, the red-green government adopted 13 measures for stricter asylum policy. For the first time in history, measures were now introduced that were directly aimed at children and youth. This had never happened before, and created a new precedent in Norwegian asylum policy: Now the boundaries of what was okay were dramatically shifted for. SV voted against 8 of the 13 measures, but they were nevertheless introduced. One of these measures was the right to grant temporary residence permits to young people over 16 years, which means that they may stay in Norway until the day they reach 18 years, without the possibility of renewal of the residence permit. That is, their lives are put on hold for two years, before being thrown out of Norway.

Since the scheme was introduced in 2009, 508 children have been told that they are not wanted here – that Norway should only be a waiting station. 316 of them just last year. What does this do to the children and young people?

What does it do to you to know that no matter what you do, no matter how much you contribute, it has nothing to say for your future? In any case, you should be expelled from Norway on your 18th birthday. "The way I'm going now, I only have until I turn 18. Then I have no way left." This was said by a 16-year-old boy sitting in a waiting room. Hundreds of children and young people feel the same way, because of Norwegian politicians. Instead of dreams and plans for the future, these children's lives are filled with ticking bells that slowly count down to the day they are thrown out of the country.

The victims of the example. In your teens, you do nothing but rejoice until you turn 18. Finally, you can take the note, move out and go to a party. Life somehow begins as you come of age. So while 16-year-olds in Norway dreams of starting adulthood, filled unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people with an eternal sense of 'I do not know. " They can not make plans. They can only sit and wait. Having nothing but waiting to fill your days with is harmful.

Norway deliberately chose to destroy the lives of 316 young people last year.

Norway deliberately chose to destroy the lives of 316 young people last year. This must be stopped. Politicians from the Labor Party and the bourgeois government use children and young people to show the world how strict asylum and refugee policy we can pursue. They are fully aware of what this scheme does to the children, but still choose to maintain it, to send a signal to other children: Norway is not a country you can come to and get help.

What are we waiting for? This is strict, but how is this fair? How is it fair that these young people have all their dreams and future plans shattered and sent into nothingness, long before they themselves are sent out of the country? How is it fair that we put children and young people on hold for two years, before they are sent back to the atrocities they fled from? That is not justice for me.

What are we waiting for? These children and young people have been waiting too long. We must act now. SU demands that a temporary residence permit for young people be abolished. Sign our appeal at www.su.no!

Sjøvoll is the leader of Socialist Youth.

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