No detention centre mapping data


Sweden Immigration Detention

For many years, Sweden was lauded for its comparatively humane treatment of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers. However, reflecting a wave of get-tough policies announced by other European countries in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, in early 2016 Sweden announced that it was introducing new border controls and planning to deport an estimated 80,000 non-citizens who fail to qualify for refugee status.

Quick Facts


Immigration detainees (2016): 3,714
Detained asylum seekers (2012): 2,569
Detained minors (2016): 108
Immigration detention capacity (2016): 357
Persons expelled (2014): 6,630
International migrants (2015): 1,639,800
New asylum applications (2016): 52,674

Profile Updated: March 2016

Sweden Immigration Detention Profile

INTRODUCTION

Although Sweden has been lauded for having comparatively humane detention practices, sharp increases in the numbers of arriving asylum seekers and migrants (more than 160,000 in 2015) have helped spur important shifts in policies and public discourse.[1] In January 2016, the Swedish government announced that it was introducing new border controls, boosting police forces, and planning to deport up to 80,000 non-citizens who fail to qualify for refugee status.[2] More deportations could likely lead to more money and resources being devoted to detention operations, as well as a much larger Swedish immigration detention infrastructure, observers noted.[3] 

Until relatively recently, there appeared to be a downward trend in the numbers of people placed in immigration detention, the vast majority of whom were adult males.[4] In 2007, 1,735 were detained, and in 2008,1,645.[5] However, since 2009, when the country hosted an estimated undocumented population of 30,000-50,000, there has been a clear upward trend in these annual numbers.[6] The country placed 1,742 people in immigration detention in 2009; 1,810 in 2010; 1,941 in 2011; 2,564 in 2012; 2,893 in 2013; 3,201 in 2014; and 3,524 in 2015.[7]

In 2014, Sweden apprehended nearly 73,000 undocumented non-citizens; some 15,000 were ordered to leave the country; just under 7,000 were returned.[8] The top countries of origin of immigration detainees in 2014 were Somalia (206), Albania (182), Afghanistan (167), Morocco (144), and Georgia (131).[9]

 

LAWS, POLICIES, PRACTICES

The 2005 Aliens Act (2005:716) regulates the country’s migration policy, including conditions for issuance of visa, long-term resident status, work permits, refusal of entry to the country, as well as “coercive” control measures, which include immigration detention and penal sanctions. The Act has been amended several times. The 2012 amendment incorporated the EU Returns Directive.

Deportation and detention were first introduced in Swedish law with the 1914 Deportation Act. The 1927 Aliens Act, along with amendments in 1945 and 1954, broadened the state’s detention powers and introduced changes to detention regulations. The 1945 law provided that a migrant could be detained in order to facilitate his deportation while the 1954 law specified the grounds on which a person could be detained. An amendment in 1976 restricted the grounds for immigration-related detention, providing that a person could be detained only if there were reasonable grounds to suspect that the person would abscond or take part in criminal activities, or if a person’s identity could not be established.[10] The 2005 Act expanded the range of grounds.

Grounds for detention. Immigration detention (förvar) is addressed in Chapter 10 of the 2005 Aliens Act. The Act provides that non-citizens over the age of 18 may be detained when their identities cannot be clearly established; there is no proof of the right to enter or stay in Sweden; or when detention is deemed necessary to carry out an investigation of the right to remain in Sweden. In cases when it appears likely that a person will be refused entry or deported, he or she can be detained if authorities deem him or her to be a flight risk or potentially engaged in criminal activities (Ch. 10, Section 1). According to Caritas Sweden, several of these grounds ambiguous.[11]

These grounds apply thus to both asylum seekers and undocumented non-citizens. However in practice asylum seekers in regular procedures constitute a small proportion of migration detainees, less than 4 percent.[12]

Detaining authorities. The Aliens Act specifies the authorities with decision-making powers and enforcement duties vis-à-vis immigration detention. Authorities empowered to issues detention orders include the Swedish Migration Agency (formerly the Migration Board), the Migration Courts, and the Migration Court of Appeal (Ch.10, Section 14). The Migration Agency, or Migrationsverket, is part of the Ministry of Justice and is responsible for enforcement of detention orders (Ch.10, Section 18).

The Swedish national police can also detain suspected irregular non-citizens. The police must report detentions immediately to the Migration Agency, which must then determine whether such measures are to be continued (Ch.10, Section 17).

Length of detention. The legal limits on the length of detention vary according to the grounds for detention.

Detention for the purposes of investigating the migrant’s right to remain in Sweden under Ch. 10, Section 1, para 2(1) of the Aliens Act cannot be longer than 48 hours (Ch. 10, Section 4, para. 1). Detention during the verification of the right of a foreign national to enter or stay in Sweden is to be limited to two weeks, unless there are exceptional grounds for a longer period. People detained awaiting deportation may be detained for two months, though this can be also be extended on the bases of exceptional grounds.

Even in cases were there are exceptional circumstances, a person may not be detained for longer than three months. However, if it is likely that an expulsion will take longer because of the lack of cooperation by the non-citizen or delays in receiving necessary documents, detention can be up to 12 months. Detention time limits do not apply in situations where expulsion is sought because of the migrant’s criminal activities (Ch. 10, Section 4, para 2).

Children may be detained for 72 hours, subject to renewal of another 72 hours in exceptional circumstances (Ch.10, Section 5).

The overall average length of detention was 16.7 days in 2007 and 20.8 days in 2008.[13] In 2008, the average length of detention in number of days was 22.1 for men, 15.6 for women and 1.6 for children.[14] 

According to more resent official figures, the average length of detention of all categories of detainees was 13 days in 2009; 11 in 2010; 10 in 2011; seven in 2012, and five in 2013.

Rejected asylum seekers tend to be detained for slightly longer periods on average. The average duration of their detention was 17 days in 2009; 15 in 2010; 13 in 2011; 10 in 2012; and 8 in 2013.[15] In 2015 Caritas Sweden noted that asylum seekers are generally detained for up to two weeks.[16]

Procedural standards. Detention orders are to be reviewed within two weeks. Detainees who have already been served with refusal of entry or expulsion order must have their detention reviewed within two months. Detention is to be subsequently reviewed regularly within the same intervals (Ch. 10, Section. 9).

The Aliens Act provides that if a detention order is not reviewed within the prescribed period it should be set aside (Ch. 10, Section. 10). Detainees have access to oral hearing before each review (Ch. 10, Section. 11(1)). The authority or court, which has taken the initial detention decision, is also competent to review the detention (Ch. 10, Section 12).

The Aliens Act provides that migration detainees shall be appointed a public counsel after three days in detention (Ch. 18, Section 1, para. 4). However, as Swedish Red Cross notes, detainees have access to legal counseling if the Migration Agency or Police consider that they are in need of legal aid.[17] On the other hand the law does not provide for the right of access to translation services. The Migration Agency claims that detention centre staff members attempt to facilitate with translations where possible.[18]

There appear to be a number of concerns regarding procedural standards at criminal justice facilities that are used to hold immigration detainees. For instance, during its visit to the country in 2015, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) interviewed several immigration detainees who said that they were not clearly informed of the reasons why they had been transferred to a prison, the duration of their detention in that facility, or how to challenge this transfer. The committee reported that automatic review of the transfer to the prison was not provided in legislation nor carried out in practice. Further, most of the detainees claimed that they had not received upon admission to a prison any oral or written information about their rights and the house rules. The CPT noted that such information was available but only in Swedish.[19]

Minors. The Aliens Act describes two situations in which children may be detained for immigration-related reasons ((Ch. 10, Section 2, para. 1 and 2):

(1) When the following three conditions apply: a. it is probable that the child will be refused entry or has already been issued a deportation order; b. there is an “obvious” risk of absconding; c. it is deemed that supervision is not sufficient to carry out the order.  

(2) To enforce a refusal of entry or expulsion order in cases where child supervision proved insufficient to enforce a previous order.

Children may not be detained for more than 72 hours or, in exceptional circumstances, for an additional 72 hours (Ch. 10, Section 5). 

Children cannot be separated from their guardians by detaining either the guardian or the child. When the child does not have a guardian (an unaccompanied minor) in Sweden, detention may only be applied in exceptional circumstances (Ch. 10, Section 3).

According to the statistics collected by the Migration Agency, 85 children were detained in 2013; 25 in 2012; 32 in 2011; 21 in 2010; and 37 in 2009. Of these, 14 were unaccompanied in 2013, 18 in 2012, four in 2011, and one in 2009.[20] The figures provided by the Swedish Police differ from these collected by the Migration Agency; it is not clear whether they should be added up. According to the Police 25 children were detained in 2014, 28 in 2013, 50 in 2012, while 41 in 2011.[21] According to Caritas Sweden, in 2015 80 children were detained, of whom 17 were unaccompanied.[22] (As noted in the section below on “Data discrepancies,” the Global Detention Project has received contrasting statistics from official sources concerning the number of minors detained annually.)

Alternatives to detention. The Aliens Act provides one non-custodial alternative measure to detention, “supervision” (uppsikt). Both adults and children may be placed under “supervision,” which entails an obligation to report to the police or to the Swedish Migration Agency regularly. A foreign national’s passport may also be confiscated for the duration of the supervision period (Ch.10, Sections 6-8).

The Migration Agency states that supervision provides advantages to both migrants and the government. Reporting involves minimal costs and less administrative burdens.[23] However, while the Aliens Act requires states to assess the feasibility of supervision with respect to migrant children (Ch. 10, Section, para. 1(3) and 2(2)), such an explicit obligation is not laid down with respect to adults.

According to official figures, in 2013 405 migrants were afforded reporting obligations; 396 in 2012; 289 in 2011; 270 in 2010; and 288 in 2009. The majority of those given alternatives are rejected asylum seekers, who accounted for 275 in 2013, 269 in 2012, 220 in 2011, 160 in 2010, 178 in 2009. A small proportion were children; 20 in 2013, 30 in 2012, 15 in 2011, 29 in 2012, 20 in 2009. According to Caritas, in 2015 supervision was provided in 421 cases.[24]

Supervision orders are reviewed within six months following the decision. Supervision ceases immediately if the grounds for detention are no longer valid (Ch. 10, Section 9, para. 2 and 4).

Data discrepancies. There are considerable discrepancies in statistics concerning the number of people detained each year in Sweden. According to a report from the European Commission’s European Migration Network, Sweden detained 81 asylum seekers in 2013, 87 in 2012, 87 in 2011, 89 in 2010, and 135 in 2009.[25] In contrast, in response to a joint Access Info-Global Detention Project questionnaire, Sweden’s Migration Agency provide the following numbers of detained asylum seekers: 2,569 (2012), 2,508 (2011), and 2,409 (2010).[26] 

Similarly, the GDP has received contrasting statistics on the numbers of children placed in immigration detention. According to an October 2015 email from the Migration Service to the Global Detention Project, a total of 41 minors were detained in 2011 and 50 2012.[27]  However, in response to an earlier request sent jointly by Access Info-Global Detention Project, the Migration Agency reported that 62 minors had been detained in 2011 and 61 in 2012.[28]  Interestingly, the 2015 letter from the Migration Service appears to state that Swede does not have disaggregated statistics on accompanied and unaccompanied minors, while the response to the joint Access Info-Global Detention Project questionnaire provided disaggregated numbers.

Criminalization. Chapter 20 of the Aliens Act sets out migration-related criminal sanctions. Non-citizens may be fined or sentenced to one-year imprisonment for irregular into the country (Ch. 20, Section 4). Migrants who stay in Sweden without permission are liable to a fine. Non-citizens who stay in the country despite the entry ban may be sanctioned with a prison sentence up to a year or a fine (Ch. 20, Section 1-2).

Privatization, outsourcing, and shifting detention authorities. Sweden is one of the very few countries to have completely reversed course on detention outsourcing after private contractors caused widespread criticism.[29] The shift away from private management was also accompanied by a shift in government agencies responsible for immigration detainees, from the police to the Migration Board (now the Migration Agency), which reflected a growing recognition at the time (in the mid-1990s) that immigration detainees were not criminal inmates and thus required separate treatment.

Until 1997, Sweden’s immigration detention centres were under the responsibility of the federal police, who contracted out the daily operations of the facilities to private security companies.[30] Early reports on these centres by supra-national bodies like the CPT generally commended operations at these centres.[31]

By the mid-1990s, however, the situation had changed dramatically as Swedish media and human rights groups reported instances of violence, hunger strikes, suicide attempts, and growing unrest at detention facilities. “Human rights watch dogs criticized the lack of knowledge and experience of contractors in their work with asylum seekers and also the lack of transparency in management of the centres. The police were criticized for incidents of forced and occasional violent deportations.”[32]

The Swedish government ordered an inquiry into detention and deportation practices, leading to the introduction of significant reforms in immigration policy, which came into force in 1997. As part of the reforms, the government removed privately contracted security companies from immigration detention centres, transferred responsibility of the centres to the Migration Board, mandated that qualified health professionals be available, and decreed that facilities used for administrative detention not resemble prisons cells.[33]

Discussing the government’s reason for supporting the reforms, Anna Wessel, who was appointed head of the Migration Board in 1997, said, “It was an ambition from the government that the treatment of the detainees should also reflect the fact that they were not criminals so that we could not enforce limitations on their civil rights more than was necessary to obtain the purpose of detention. Apart from the fact that they cannot leave the premises they are entitled to the same rights as any other person would be … which means we have to guarantee that they can have contact with the outside world, they have freedom of information. We have to ensure that they can have visits from friends and relatives. Any decision that is taken to further restrict their freedom of movement such as, for instance, searching for dangerous objects or drugs or alcohol is a decision that can be appealed with the local Administrative Board. We have also opened up the detention canter for regular visits from the non- governmental organisations.”[34]

In the years immediately after these reforms were implemented, there were reportedly fewer incidents of self-harm and no major incidents of violence at Sweden’s immigration detention facilities.[35] In 1999, the CPT reported that “the most significant change at the centre concerned staff; at the time of the 1998 visit, it was no longer staffed by the police, but by Immigration Board personnel. The delegation observed that staff appeared to be attentive to the needs of inmates and were well equipped to perform their duties vis-à-vis detained foreigners (e.g. as regards knowledge of languages).”[36]

In a 2000 study on alternatives to detention and best practices in detention, the Refugee Council of Australia cited the “The Swedish Model of Detention” as an exemplar. The Refugee Council explained that Sweden had been able to implement humane practices “not by increasing security and secrecy, but by increasing consultation and access for NGOs, researchers and the media; the removal of companies running the detention centres, who don’t have the experience in the sensitive issues involved in working with asylum seekers; and by ensuring all detainees are treated with dignity and fairness, are aware of their rights and have the right to appeal.”[37]

 

DETENTION INFRASTRUCTURE

Immigration detention estate. As of 2015, Sweden operated five dedicated detention centres, which were located in Gävle, Märsta (near Stockholm Arlanda airport), Flen, Kållered, and Åstorp. The total capacity of these facilities was 255.[38] In addition to these facilities, immigration detainees can be held for short periods at police stations and in specially designed units located in some of the country’s prisons.

Pursuant to the Aliens Act, people detained for immigration-related reasons are to be kept in premises that have been specially designed for this purpose (Ch. 11, Section 2, para. 1). The Swedish Migration Agency is responsible for these premises and enforcement of detention orders (Ch. 10, Section 18 and Ch. 11, Section 2, para. 1). The agency manages the detention centres.

The size and total capacity of Sweden’s dedicated immigration detention estate, which is comparatively smaller than many of its European neighbours, has fluctuated in recent years. During 2008, detention capacity was raised from 150 at the beginning of the year to 185 at the end of the year, and rate of usage of detention space was correspondingly lowered from 109.5 percent to 85 percent of capacity. Overall in 2008, Swedish detention facilities operated at 96.6 percent of capacity.[39]

In contrast between 2005 and 2006, total detention capacity was reduced from more than 200 to 125 in anticipation of a lower required capacity due to the entry into force in 2006 of the new Aliens Act, which broadened the scope for admissible residence claims.[40] However, by the end of 2008, total detention capacity had risen again, to185 places.[41]

Conditions of detention. The Aliens Act provides a number of specific rules for how detention centres are to be operated and the appropriate environments for different detainees. Detention facilities are to be organized in such as way to cause the least amount of infringement of detainees’ integrity and rights (Ch. 11, Section 1). Non-citizens are to be informed of the rules applicable in their place of detention (Ch. 11, Section 1, para. 1). They are to have access to recreation activities, physical training, and outdoor exercises. Children in detention are to have an opportunity to play and access to activities appropriate for their age. Families are to be accommodated together (Ch. 11, Section 3). Detainees must be able to receive visits and have contact with the outside world, except where it would hamper carrying out detention in a particular case. If necessary for security reasons, visits may be monitored. Visits conducted by a public counsel or a member of the Swedish Bar may only be monitored if the detainee specifically requests it (Ch. 11, Section 4).

Under the Aliens Act immigration detainees shall have access to the same level of health and medical health care as applicants for international protection. Detainees who need hospital care during the period of detention shall have access to such treatment (Ch. 11, Section 5). Health care is covered if it cannot be deferred, which includes care and treatment of diseases and injuries in cases where even a moderate delay can be expected to result in serious consequences for the patient. Preventive child and maternity care and care of communicable diseases are free of charge. However detainees pay around 5 Euros for visits to doctors in the public primary care and for the medical treatment given after referral of such physician.[42]

The Aliens Act permits placing adult detainees in isolation if it is necessary for order and security in the detention centre or if the person poses a serious danger to himself or others. If the non-citizen is to be kept separate because he is a danger for himself, he shall be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. The decision to put migrant in isolation is taken by the Migration Agency and shall be reviewed every third day (Ch. 11, Section 7).

In its 2014 annual report, the Migration Agency gave a detailed description of its detention facilities. All five detention centres have separate sections for women and families. Usually there are 2-4 detainees per cell; only at Märsta and Flen there are single cells. There are also some 6-person cells. Families are normally placed in their own 4-persons room. Unaccompanied children are placed separately from adult detainees but they can share common areas if they wish to. Children are normally placed with their parents. There are no childcare facilities in detention centres. Sometimes only one parent is detained while the rest of the family is placed in non-secure accommodation. Detainees have the possibility to be outdoors yard at least three hours per day. Detainees can move freely within the centres.[43]

In December 2015, Caritas Sweden observed that there had been no reports of overcrowding in detention facilities during the year. The Märsta detention facility has the highest rate of use (at over 90 percent of capacity, while 72 percent was the national average in 2012). The detention centres in Flen and Gävle tend to be used when there is insufficient space in Märsta.[44]

In May 2015 the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) visited the immigration detention centre in Märsta. The centre consists of three units, of which one was used for immigration detention (unit 1), another, called transit unit (unit 3) was used for persons awaiting deportation or transfer to another facility, while the third one (unit 2) was closed for renovation. With a capacity of 75, the Märsta facility is the biggest centre in Sweden. At the time of the CPT’s visit, the centre confined 42 immigration detainees, including four women.[45]

The committee did not receive any allegations of ill-treatment by staff and most of the foreign nationals interviewed by the delegation indicated that the overall atmosphere was adequate. The CPT found that material conditions were generally of a high standard. The cells were sufficiently spacious (confining up to three persons, measuring around 15 square meters), bright and with adequate heating and ventilation. During the day detainees could move freely within their units. Unit 1 had a large recreational area with sofas, a TV set and board and computer games. There was also a computer room with Internet access, indoor gym, and a small library with books in different languages.[46]

On the other hand, the CPT noted several shortcomings with respect to access to the health care. The Märsta detention centre did not have on-site health care professionals. Health-care services to the detainees were provided by a local health centre. A general practitioner visited the centre once per week, while a nurse three times per week. However, there were no established visiting hours, both medical staff planned their visits based on the number of detainees registered for consultation. The CPT noted that such an arrangement implied that access to health-care personnel was filtered by the detention personnel who asked the detainees about their reasons for seeing the health personnel. Further, the committee found that despite its previous recommendations systematic medical screening upon arrival to Märsta detention facility was not in place and there were gaps in terms of medical confidentiality.[47]

During the CPT’s 2009 visit, Sweden received a favourable review of its detention infrastructure, which led to its characterisation as a European role model (Le Figaro 2009). The CPT, in its preliminary observations, noted that there were no allegations of abuse and that detention centre staff were sufficient in number and skills and that “many detainees interviewed spoke positively about the staff.” In terms of material conditions, the CPT noted that the centres in Märsta and Gävle “were of a very high standard” and offered a broad range of activities to detainees within the centre (CPT 2009).

The use of penal facilities. The Aliens Act also provides for the use of penal facilities for immigration enforcement purposes. The Migration Agency may place adult non-citizens in prisons, remand prisons, or police arrest facilities if the non-citizen is expelled for having committed a criminal offence, he is being held in isolation in dedicated detention centre and cannot be held there anymore for security reasons, or for “some other exceptional grounds.” In the last two cases, the migration detainee is to be confined separately from prisoners (Ch. 10, Section 20).

In January 2015 the country opened two special units for immigration detainees in the Norrtälje and Storboda prisons. The most often used for this purpose appears to be the special unit at Norrtälje prison, which has 32 single cells. At the time of the CPT’s visit in May 2015 the unit was at capacity. When there are no available places in Norrtälje, migrants are either confined in the special unit in Storboda or at another penitentiary. At the time of the CPT’s visit, 13 immigration detainees were awaiting transfer to Norrtälje from a remand prison.[48]

Several migrants detained in Norrtälje complained to the CPT that at times they were locked up in their cells for 23 hours a day for up to 3 days in a row as an unofficial collective punishment for a fight between inmates. The CPT stressed that any disciplinary sanction should result from disciplinary procedures rather than taking form of an unofficial sanction. It reminded the authorities that collective punishment is unacceptable.[49]

The CPT recommended the country to put an end the practice of confining migrants in penitentiary facilities and place them in dedicated immigration detention facilities. Pending this the Committee recommended Sweden to ensure that non-citizens transferred to the special unit at Norrtälje prison are afforded organized activities, including work, education, and sport.[50]

Cost of detention. According to the figures provided by the Migration Agency, in 2013 one day of detention per person was on average 420 Euro. In 2013, the Migration Board spent 28.7 million Euros on immigration detention, of which 20.7 million for staff, 5.1 million for food and accommodation, 2.4 million additional costs like technical tools, 404,000 for medical care, and 67,000 for legal assistance.[51]

The Aliens Act provides that immigration detainees shall have the same daily allowances as asylum seekers accommodated in the reception centres (Ch. 11, Section 13).

 

 

[1] Mary Jordan, “Iraqi Refugees Find Sweden’s Doors Closing,” Washington Post Foreign Service, 10 April 2008. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/09/AR2008040904319.html.

[2] David Crouch, "Sweden sends sharp signal with plan to expel up to 80,000 asylum seekers," The Guardian, 28 January 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/28/sweden-to-expel-up-to-80000-rejected-asylum-seekers; Leo Cendrowicz, "Refugee crisis: Sweden's mass deportation of asylum seekers 'could strengthen EU migration policy'," Independent, 28 January 2016, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/refugee-crisis-swedens-mass-deportation-of-asylum-seekers-could-strengthen-eu-migration-policy-a6840521.html; Tom Rollins, "Refugee vs economic migrant: Are EU policies changing?," Aljazeera, 18 February 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/02/refugees-economic-migrants-europe-rhetoric-160214130119808.html.

[3] Tom Rollins, " Refugee vs economic migrant: Are EU policies changing?,” Al Jazeera, 18 February 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/02/refugees-economic-migrants-europe-rhetoric-160214130119808.html.

[4] In 2008, only 2.6 percent of immigration detainees were children and 13.6 percent women.

[5] Swedish Migration Board, Årsderovisning 2007, February 2008, http://www.migrationsverket.se/download/18.56e4f4801246221d25680001010/arr_2007.pdf, Swedish Migration Board, Årsderovisning 2008, February 2009, http://www.migrationsverket.se/download/18.56e4f4801246221d25680001007/arr_2008.pdf

[6] Econ Pöyry, The enforced return of irregular migrants in Norway, France, Poland and Sweden, 2009, http://www.econ.no/modules/module_123/proxy.asp?I=3675&C=9&D=2

[7] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm. Caritas Sweden, “Country Report: Sweden,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), December 2015, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/sweden.

[8] Eurostat, Enforcement of Immigration Legislation, accessed 25 February 2016, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database.

[9] DANIELA DEBONO, SOFIA RÖNNQVIST, KARIN MAGNUSSON, HUMANE AND DIGNIFIED? Migrants’ Experiences of Living in a ‘State of Deportability’ in Sweden, Malmö University, 2015.

[10] DANIELA DEBONO, SOFIA RÖNNQVIST, KARIN MAGNUSSON, HUMANE AND DIGNIFIED? Migrants’ Experiences of Living in a ‘State of Deportability’ in Sweden, Malmö University, 2015; Sofi Jansson, Sweden and its Historical Productions of Migrant Detainabilities, Master Thesis, Malmö University, 2013.

[11] Caritas Sweden, “Country Report : Sweden,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), December 2015, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/sweden.

[12] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm.

[13] Swedish Migration Board. Årsderovisning 2007, February 2008, http://www.migrationsverket.se/download/18.56e4f4801246221d25680001010/arr_2007.pdf, Swedish Migration Board, Årsderovisning 2008, February 2009, http://www.migrationsverket.se/download/18.56e4f4801246221d25680001007/arr_2008.pdf.

[14] Swedish Migration Board, Årsderovisning 2008, February 2009, http://www.migrationsverket.se/download/18.56e4f4801246221d25680001007/arr_2008.pdf.

[15] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm

[16] Caritas Sweden, “Country Report : Sweden,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), December 2015, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/sweden.

[17] Alexandra Segenstedt (Swedish Red Cross), Completed Practices Questionnaire for the project MADE REAL: Sweden, ULB & Odysseus Network, 2015.

[18] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm.

[19] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden
carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 18 to 28 May 2015
, CPT/Inf (2016) 1, February 2016, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/swe/2016-01-inf-eng.pdf.

[20] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm.

[21] Niclas Axelsson (Migration Service), Email Correspondence with Remi Vespi (Global Detention Project), 30 October 2015.

[22] Caritas Sweden, “Country Report : Sweden,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), December 2015, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/sweden.

[23] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm.

[24] Caritas Sweden, “Country Report : Sweden,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), December 2015, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/sweden.

[25] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm.

[26] Swedish Migration Board, Response to Global Detention Project/ Access Info Questionnaire, 20 March 2013.

[27] Niclas Axelsson (Migration Service), Email Correspondence with Remi Vespi (Global Detention Project), 30 October 2015.

[28] Swedish Migration Board, Response to Global Detention Project/ Access Info Questionnaire, 20 March 2013.

[29] Michael Flynn and Cecilia Cannon, “The Privatization of Immigration Detention: Towards a Global View,” Global Detention Project Working Paper, September 2009.

[30] Mitchell, Grant. 2001. Asylum Seekers in Sweden: An integrated approach to reception, detention, determination, integration and return. Asylum Seeker Project-Hotham Mission. 2001.

[31] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). 1992. Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment from 5 to 14 May 1991. Council of Europe. Strasbourg. Ref. CPT/Inf (92) 4 (EN). 12 March 1992.

[32] Mitchell, Grant. 2001. Asylum Seekers in Sweden: An integrated approach to reception, detention, determination, integration and return. Asylum Seeker Project-Hotham Mission. 2001.

[33] Swedish Parliament. Proposition 1996/97: 147 Änding i utlänningslagens förvarsbestämmelser. Regeringens proposition 1996/97: 147. Stockholm, 3 April 1997.

[34] Mares, Peter. 2000. “Ruddock calls for report on child accomodation possibilities.” Australian Broadcasting Corporation. December 19, 2000.  http://www.abc.net.au/pm/stories/s225856.htm

[35] Professional Alliance for the Health of Asylum Seekers and their Children (PAHASC). 2002. Submission to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission: Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention. PAHASC. May 2002.

[36] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). 1999. Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 15 to 25 February 1998. Council of Europe. Strasbourg. Ref. CPT/Inf (99) 4 (EN). 25 February 1999.

[37] Refugee Council of Australia. 2000. “Alternatives to Detention: The Swedish Model of Detention.” In Website. “Current Issues.” Page last updated 8 November 2000. http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/current/alt-swedish.html.

[38] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm. European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden
carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 18 to 28 May 2015
, CPT/Inf (2016) 1, February 2016, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/swe/2016-01-inf-eng.pdf.

[39] Swedish Migration Board, Årsderovisning 2008, February 2009, http://www.migrationsverket.se/download/18.56e4f4801246221d25680001007/arr_2008.pdf.

[40] Swedish Migration Board, Årsderovisning 2008, February 2009, http://www.migrationsverket.se/download/18.56e4f4801246221d25680001007/arr_2008.pdf. Swedish Migration Board, Slutrapport: Arbetet med den tillfälliga utlänningslagstiftningen 2005-2006. Bilaga till Årsredovisning 2006. January 2007, http://www.migrationsverket.se/infomaterial/om_verket/ek_redovisningar/arr_2006_bilaga.pdf.

[41] Swedish Migration Board, Årsderovisning 2008, February 2009, http://www.migrationsverket.se/download/18.56e4f4801246221d25680001007/arr_2008.pdf.

[42] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm.

[43] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm

[44] Caritas Sweden, “Country Report : Sweden,” Asylum Information Database (AIDA), December 2015, http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/sweden.

[45] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden
carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 18 to 28 May 2015
, CPT/Inf (2016) 1, February 2016, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/swe/2016-01-inf-eng.pdf.

[46] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden
carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 18 to 28 May 2015
, CPT/Inf (2016) 1, February 2016, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/swe/2016-01-inf-eng.pdf.

[47] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden
carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 18 to 28 May 2015
, CPT/Inf (2016) 1, February 2016, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/swe/2016-01-inf-eng.pdf.

[48] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden
carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 18 to 28 May 2015
, CPT/Inf (2016) 1, February 2016, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/swe/2016-01-inf-eng.pdf.

[49] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden
carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 18 to 28 May 2015
, CPT/Inf (2016) 1, February 2016, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/swe/2016-01-inf-eng.pdf.

[50] European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Report to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden
carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 18 to 28 May 2015
, CPT/Inf (2016) 1, February 2016, http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/swe/2016-01-inf-eng.pdf.

[51] Swedish Migration Board, The use of detention and alternatives to detention in the context of immigration policies in Sweden, European Migration Network (EMN), 2014, http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/studies/results/index_en.htm

Centres List

No detention centres data available

Statistics Expand all



3,714

Total number of immigration detainees by year

2016

  • Total number of immigration detainees by year
NumberObservation Date
3,7142016
3,5242015
3,2012014
2,8932013
3,2052012
2,5642012
3,1372011
1,9412011
3,0152010
1,8102010
1,7422009
1,6452008
1,7352007


405

Number of persons granted alternatives to immigration detention

2013

  • Number of persons granted alternatives to immigration detention
NumberObservation Date
4052013
3962012
2892011
2702010
2882009


2,569

Number of detained asylum seekers

2012

  • Number of detained asylum seekers
NumberObservation Date
2,5692012
2,5082011
2,4092010


108

Total number of detained minors

2016

  • Total number of detained minors
NumberObservation Date
1082016
252014
282013
852013
502012
252012
412011
322011
212010
372010


14

Number of detained unaccompanied minors

2013

  • Number of detained unaccompanied minors
NumberObservation Date
142013
182012
112011
42011
62010
42010
12009


72,835

Number of apprehensions of non-citizens

2014

  • Number of apprehensions of non-citizens
NumberObservation Date
72,8352014
24,4002013
23,2052012


0.21

Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population

2015

  • Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population
PercentageObservation Date
0.212015
0.192013
0.132010


357

Estimated total immigration detention capacity

2016

  • Estimated total immigration detention capacity
NumberObservation Date
3572016


5

Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres

2015

  • Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
NumberObservation Date
52015


255

Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres

2015

  • Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
NumberObservation Date
2552015


6,630

Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)

2014

  • Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
NumberObservation Date
6,6302014
14,3152013
16,1402012


46.4

Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures

2014

  • Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures
PercentageObservation Date
46.42014


5,245

Criminal prison population

2016

  • Criminal prison population
NumberObservation Date
5,2452016
5,7972013


30.9

Percentage of foreign prisoners

2015

  • Percentage of foreign prisoners
PercentageObservation Date
30.92015
31.62013


53

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)

2016

  • Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
NumberObservation Date
532016
602013



9,979,000

Population

2015

  • Population
NumberObservation Date
9,979,0002015
9,500,0002012


1,639,800

International migrants

2015

  • International migrants
NumberObservation Date
1,639,8002015
1,519,5002013
1,385,0002010


16.8

International migrants as a percentage of the population

2015

  • International migrants as a percentage of the population
PercentageObservation Date
16.82015
15.92013


30,000 - 50,000

Estimated number of undocumented migrants

2009

  • Estimated number of undocumented migrants
NumberObservation Date
30,000 - 50,0002009


230,103

Refugees

2016

  • Refugees
NumberObservation Date
230,1032016
169,5202015
142,2072014


14.66

Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants

2014

  • Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
NumberObservation Date
14.662014


52,674

Total number of new asylum applications

2016

  • Total number of new asylum applications
NumberObservation Date
52,6742016
75,0962014


25.3

Refugee recognition rate

2014

  • Refugee recognition rate
NumberObservation Date
25.32014


36,036

Stateless persons

2016

  • Stateless persons
NumberObservation Date
36,0362016
27,1672015
20,4502014

Domestic Law Expand all

Legal tradition Show sources
NameObservation Date
Civil law

Constitutional guarantees? Show sources
NameConstitution and ArticlesYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
YesThe Instrument of Government, articles 8-919741974
Core pieces of national legislation Show sources
NameYear AdoptedLast Year Amended
Aliens Act (2005:716) 2005

Immigration-status-related grounds Show sources
NameObservation Date
Detention to establish/verify identity and nationality2016
Detention to prevent absconding2016
Detention to effect removal2016

Does the country provide specific criminal penalties for immigration-related violations? Show sources
FinesIncarcerationObservation Date
YesYes2016
Grounds for criminal immigration-related detention/incarceration and maximum potential duration of incarceration Show sources
Grounds for IncarcerationMaximum Number of Days of IncarcerationObservation Date
Unauthorized entry3652016

Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law. Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
3652016
Average length of detention Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
52013
72012
102011
112010
132009
212008
172007

Provision of basic procedural standards Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Independent review of detentionYes2016
Right to legal counselYes2016
Access to free interpretation servicesNo2016

Types of non-custodial measures Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Designated non-secure housingYesinfrequently2016
Supervised release and/or reportingYesinfrequently2016
Registration (deposit of documents)Yesinfrequently2016
Release on bailNoNo2014
Electronic monitoringNoNo2014

Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice? Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Accompanied minorsProvidedYes2016
Unaccompanied minorsProvidedYes2016
Asylum seekersYes2014

International Law Expand all

Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
  13/16
Individual complaints procedure Show sources
NameAcceptance Year
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities2008
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 19992003
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention1986
ICERD, declaration under article 14 of the Convention1971
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 19661971
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted Show sources
NumberObservation Date
5/7
5/7

Recommendations issued by regional human rights mechanisms Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation YearObservation Date
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

§ 39: take measures to improve the provision of health care to foreign nationals detained at the Migration Agency Detention Centre in Märsta. In particular, steps should be taken to ensure that: all newly-arrived foreign nationals benefit from comprehensive medical screening (including screening for transmissible diseases) by a doctor or a fully qualified nurse reporting to a doctor as soon as possible after their admission; custodial staff do not seek to screen requests to consult a doctor/nurse, and detained foreign nationals can approach health-care staff on a confidential basis; the confidentiality of medical data is respected.

§ 41: that the relevant legislation be amended so as to ensure that all persons held under aliens legislation (wherever they are detained) have an effective right of access to a lawyer as from the very outset of their deprivation of liberty and at all stages of the proceedings.

§ 72: put an end to the practice of placing persons detained under aliens legislation in penitentiary establishments and accommodate them in centres specifically created for that purpose. Pending this, the Committee recommends that steps be taken to ensure that foreign nationals transferred to the special unit at Norrtälje Prison are offered more organised activities, including work, education and sports.

§ 73: carry out a thorough and independent inquiry into these allegations; were the above-mentioned practice to be found to indeed exist, it should be terminated immediately.

§ 75: take measures to ensure that all detained foreign nationals transferred to the Prison and Probation Service establishments are fully informed of their situation, their rights, and the procedure applicable to them in a language they understand. This should be ensured by the provision of clear verbal information upon admission, to be supplemented at the earliest opportunity by a written form. The form should be available in the languages most commonly spoken by those detained under aliens legislation, and should contain information on detainees’ rights, house rules and applicable procedures. The establishments’ house rules should be translated in a variety of languages and posted around the detention areas.

20152015
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

§ 143: ensure that asylum seekers are not detained in criminal detention facilities. 

20122012

Bilateral/multilateral agreements linked to readmission Show sources
NameYear in ForceObservation Date
Bulgaria19992017
Croatia20032017
Germany19542017
Cyprus20062017
Denmark19572017
Estonia20042017
Finland19572017
France19912017
Latvia19972017
Lithuania19972017
Poland19992017
Romania20022017
Slovakia20052017
Iceland19572017
Iceland20032017
Norway19572017
Norway20032017
Switzerland20032017
Bosnia and Herzegovina20052017
Kosovo20112017
Montenegro20032017
Russian Federation20122017
Serbia20032017
Viet Nam20082017

Visits by special procedures of the Human Rights Council Show sources
NameYear of VisitObservation Date
Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health20062016
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review Show sources
Recomendation IssuedYear IssuedObservation Date
Yes20102017
No2015

Institutions Expand all

Federal or centralized governing system Show sources
Federal or centralized governing systemObservation Date
Centralized system2016
Centralized or decentralized immigration authority Show sources
Centralized or decentralized immigration authorityObservation Date
Centralized immigration authority2016

Custodial authority Show sources
AgencyMinistryMinistry TypologyObservation Date
Swedish Migration AgencyMinistry of Justice2016
Swedish Migration BoardMinistry of JusticeJustice2013
Swedish Migration BoardMinistry of JusticeJustice2009
Swedish Migration BoardMinistry of JusticeJustice2005
Swedish Migration BoardMinistry of JusticeJustice2004
Apprehending authorities Show sources
NameAgencyMinistryObservation Date
Police Authority PoliceMinistry of Justice2015
Swedish Migration BoardImmigration agencyMinistry of Justice2015
Detention Facility Management Show sources
Entity NameEntity TypeObservation Date
Swedish Migration AgencyGovernmental2016
Swedish Migration BoardGovernmental2013
Swedish Migration BoardGovernmental2009
Swedish Migration BoardGovernmental2005
Swedish Migration BoardGovernmental2004
Formally designated detention estate? Show sources
Formally designated immigration detention estate?Types of officially designated detention centresObservation Date
YesDedicated immigration detention facilities2016
YesCriminal prisons2016
YesPolice stations2016
Types of detention facilities used in practice Show sources
Immigration detention centre (Administrative)Immigration field office (Administrative)Transit centre (Administrative)Reception centre (Administrative)Offshore detention centre (Administrative)Hospital (Administrative)Border guard (Administrative)Police station (Criminal)National penitentiary (Criminal)Local prison (Criminal)Juvenile detention centre (Criminal)Informal camp (Ad hoc)Immigration detention centre (Ad hoc)Surge facility (Ad hoc)Observation Date
YesYes2015

Authorized monitoring institutions Show sources
InstitutionInstitution TypeObservation Date
The Swedish Equality Ombudsman (DO)National Human Rights Institution (or Ombudsperson) (NHRI)2016
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT)International or Regional Bodies (IRBs)2015
Is the national human rights institution (NHRI) recognized as independent? Show sources
Is the NHRI recognized as independent by the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions?Observation Date
No2016
Does national preventive mechanism (NPM) carry out visits? Show sources
Does NPM carry out visits in practice?Observation Date
Yes2016
Does NPM publicly release reports on immigration detention? Show sources
Does NPM publicly release reports on immigration detention?Observation Date
Yes2016
Do international and/or regional bodies (IRBs) visit immigration-related detention facilities? Show sources
Do international and/or regional bodies (IRB) regularly visit immigration-related detention facilities?Observation Date
Yes2015
Do IRBs publicly report their findings from inspections? Show sources
Do IRBs publicly report their findings from detention inspections?Observation Date
Yes2015

Estimated annual budget for detention operations Show sources
Estimated total annual budget for detention operations (in USD)Building and maintenanceSecurityStaffingFoodMedicalTransportObservation Date
32,000,000YesYesYesYes2013
Estimated annual budgets for particular detention-related activities Show sources
Individual detention-related activitiesEstimated annual budget (in USD)Observation Date
Staffing23,000,0002013
Medical451,0002013
Estimated cost per detainees day (in USD) Show sources
Estimated cost per detainees day (in USD)Observation Date
4692013

Socio Economic Data Expand all

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD) Show sources
Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)Observation Date
59,9382014
58,1642013
Remittances to the country Show sources
Remittances to the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
3,9762014
7482011
Remittances from the country Show sources
Remittances from the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
6952010
Unemployment Rate Show sources
Unemployment RateObservation Date
82014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD) Show sources
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in USD)Observation Date
5,2402012
5,6032011
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP) Show sources
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)UNDP four-tiered rankingObservation Date
14Very high2015

Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration Show sources
% who agree with the statement “We should restrict and control entry of people into our country more than we do now.”Observation Date
532007

Additional Resources


Capitalism and Immigration Control: What Political Economy Reveals about the Growth of Detention Systems: GDP Working Paper #16

Assessments of the political economy of detention point to a key challenge that is common to countries across the globe: how economic insecurities of host population’s translate into xenophobia and ethno-nationalist demands for more deportations, detentions, and walls.

Immigration Detention in Sweden

For many years, Sweden was lauded for its comparatively humane treatment of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers. However, reflecting a wave of get-tough policies announced by other European countries in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, in early 2016 Sweden announced that it was introducing new border controls and planning to deport an estimated 80,000 […]

Submission to the Human Rights Committee: Sweden

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