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For the benefit of children?

"It is not Norwegian asylum policy that causes children to flee, it is the situation in their home country," writes Mina Vinje. Press is disappointed by the Labor Party's Migration Committee and believes they are breaking international obligations.


The 12. September, the Labor Party's Migration Committee presented proposals for the party's new line. They called it "solid, fair, humane, sustainable and predictable". I could not have disagreed more: The new proposals are a statement that the Labor Party does not want to act in accordance with international obligations. Here is served another disappointment from a party that describes itself as solidarity and fair, but which in reality moves completely in the border country towards inhumane and profoundly unfair.

“Children on the run are a particularly vulnerable group. Norway must be a driving force in ensuring the rights of children on the run. ”Here I am completely in line with the Labor Party's situation description. But I would argue that no people in Norway will disagree with just this; no one wants children to embark on a dangerous journey, and especially not alone.

The Labor Party committee is proposing a number of measures that could work very well if several countries contribute to a common good for people on the run. More quota refugees and the opportunity to seek asylum in the country of origin are easy ideas to agree on. But the committee will also "discourage minors from being sent on dangerous journeys alone, putting themselves at risk of human traffickers and maybe being subjected to abuse on the road. ". Over half of all people fleeing today are children. Many have lost their families in war and conflict, and although they seek protection, they are vulnerable to exploitation. No matter how much the Labor Party wants, it is not Norwegian asylum policy that causes children to flee. That is the situation in the home country.


This is where we come up with the most disgraceful policy of the committee: "Safe home care centers should be established". What the Migration Committee wants is to send children without parents back to the country from which they have fled. Many of the singles come from Afghanistan, a country that many other host countries consider so dangerous that no one is returned there. The words used in the proposal are a cover-up: This is not a "safe care center", it is a torture-like return center for children who should have been protected.

A Kabul care center will be a terrorist target for extremists.

So what's the problem with a youth care center that has to return the day they turn 18 years? Here you can imagine that they will receive adequate care and care, while continuing to live in the culture they will live on. Yes, the problem is the Labor Party's lack of cultural sensitivity and understanding of the issues that arise when sending single children back to a country like Afghanistan. A Kabul care center will be a terrorist target for extremists, a coveted human trafficking market and a place where children will be stigmatized and labeled as traitors for leaving the country.

The Labor Party's Migration Committee states that "the best interests of the child are a fundamental consideration of our immigration policy and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is central to the work of children seeking protection in Norway". I just can't find that! The Labor Party should like to propose as inhumane and rigorous a policy as possible. They must like to romp in arguments about immigration regulation and dangerous journeys if that is what they want to highlight, but I can never let them get away with using the Children's Convention as an argument for this. The suggestion is not to the best interests of the child, that is not in line with international obligations and this is not a case in which the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been adopted. It is a proposal that will do great harm and which no one will win, and I hope the Labor Party meeting takes responsibility and parks this proposal. 

Vinje is the leader in Press – Save the Children Youth. 

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