A Case Study on Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Children in Sweden : Migration Patterns and Reasons

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för naturvetenskap, miljö och teknik


The number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) has increased significantly in Sweden since the summer of 2006. Due to Sweden’s high rate of asylum application approvals, it has become a main destination country. Concurrently, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children have decreased in other more traditional European destination countries, such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway. The majority of the UASC come from Afghanistan and Somalia. There is insufficient knowledge regarding these children’s reasons and patterns for the migration to Sweden. This is a case study based on semi-structured interviews with key informants that have been strategically chosen for this study. The Migration System theory, which is based on key mechanisms of the globalization theory, is used in this study. Restricted asylum regulations in Western countries have created a “migratory industry” with human smugglers, which facilitate and expand the irregular migration. The migratory industry greatly influences the children’s choice of destination. Without the assistance of human smugglers, a migration would be impossible for these children. The conclusion of this study demonstrates the importance of informal social networks that are the reason behind the increase of UASC in Sweden. 

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