ROUTINES AND SOCIAL PRACTICE: A qualitative thesis about the relationship between societal actors and Unaccompanied Minor Asylum Seekers in Sweden

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Abstract: The purpose of the thesis was to: (1) Investigate if Sweden fails to fulfil the obligations as stated in article 3, 6, 22, 33 – 37 of the CRC (1989) concerning their treatment of UMAS in Sweden; (2) Investigate the perspective on UMAS as presented in the routines of relevant actors; (3) Investigate if there is an underlying discourse which affects the relevant actors; (4) Investigate how Maslows hierarchy of needs can explain that deviations and poor mental health in UMAS is a consequence of flaws within the system.Fairclough’s three-dimensional model was used to investigate if there was any underlying discourse which affected the societal actors and what perspective the relevant societal actors regarding UMAS. By using Maslows hierarchy of need the thesis aimed to show that possible flaws within the system could account for the poor mental health in UMAS and in deviations. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was used during the analysis of the societal actors to determine if the stated discourse or the hidden discourses worked with the ideas of the convention or not. And it was used to some extent to investigate if Sweden failed/ did not fail to meet the obligations as stated in the CRC (1989)The result showed that it was hard to say how or if the societal actors fulfilled the obligations as stated in the CRC but contradicting discourses and questionable perspectives on UMAS causes one to question it. The Migration Office and the Social Services portrayed UMAS as one homogenous group. The police make a difference in UMAS and children/ minors by failing to recognise UMAS as possible victims of smuggling/ trafficking and only mentioning them in combination with extremists. This indicated that the police believe that UMAS can only be victims of smuggling/ trafficking when they put themselves in a risky situation. The Social Services, the Migration Office and the police shows traces of being affected by underlying discourses which creates clear contradictions. Because of the flaws within the system UMAS was placed on the first step on Maslows hierarchy of needs. This can negatively affect ones’ mental health and may lead to issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and depression.

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