Denmark and Norway to establish Kabul centre for minors denied asylum

According to Reuters, Norway and Denmark have agreed to start working on the establishment of a center in Kabul where unaccompanied Afghan minors, whose asylum cases have been denied, will be housed when sent back to Afghanistan.

As in other western countries, immigration and asylum are hot political topics in the Nordic countries. The European Union is discussing setting up centres outside of its borders for denied asylum seekers in regions such as North Africa.

If the plan moves ahead, unaccompanied Afghan minors who have been denied asylum in Denmark and Norway would be forced to return to the centre in Kabul.

“We don’t have a deal yet, but we have a good dialogue (with Afghan authorities),” Norwegian deputy justice minister Torkil Aamland told Reuters.

“We want to set up a safe, good centre with real educational opportunities in line with U.N. children’s rights,” he said, adding that 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds would be returned to Afghanistan under the plan, but not those 15 years and younger.

The Danish immigration ministry declined to comment further aside from confirming the news, which was first reported by Denmark’s Politiken and Norway’s Aftenposten newspapers.

The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF said minors should not be returned to Afghanistan currently.

“The security situation has significantly worsened over the past year-and-a-half. It is not safe to return children to Afghanistan,” Ivar Stokkereit, manager of child rights governance at UNICEF Norway, told Reuters.

TMP – 07/08/2018