Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Norwegian refugee and asylum system criticised

Map of Nordland county, Norway.Image via Wikipedia
Source: Press TV

According to the Norwegian daily Dagbladet, teenagers from different countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Morocco, Russia and Palestine, face an uncertain future while waiting to be granted asylum to Norway.

The asylum-seeking teenagers living in a refugee camp in the city of Bodo in Norway's Nordland County were initially refused asylum by the Nordic country and are suffering from psychological problems.

Although officials organize recreational activities and programs to lift the spirits of teenage refugees, the camp still lacks standard living and hygienic conditions, and educational facilities.

One of the refugees in Bodo is a Palestinian man named Yousef, who has been waiting for asylum for almost twenty years.

According to Statistics Norway, 151,000 people or 3.1 percent of the Norwegian population had a refugee background at the beginning of 2010.

Norway's Immigration bureau, UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet), reported this week that 9,011 immigrants were granted Norwegian citizenship during the first 10 months of the year.

Another 4,280 were denied citizenship, which requires among other things legal residence in the country for seven of the past 10 years.

Many of Norway's new citizens came as refugees initially from Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. About 1,215 were from Iraq, with the next-largest concentrations coming from Somalia, Afghanistan, Russia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Around 11,000 immigrants were granted citizenship last year, and Norwegian authorities predict the number will be about the same by the end of this year.
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