Sweden agrees with Denmark that parts of Syria are now safe enough to reject asylum seekers

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Security in large parts of Syria has improved and that will have repercussions for Sweden’s immigration system. That is the conclusion of the Swedish Migration Agency in a report on Syria from February 2021.

The Swedish Migration Agency is Sweden’s counterpart to the Danish Immigration Service. The authority grants asylum and assesses whether people are entitled to protection.

“The Swedish Migration Agency seems to have the exact same assessment of the general conditions in certain parts of Syria that Denmark has,” Louise Halleskov, associate professor of EU and human rights at Aarhus University, told Jyllands-Posten.

Back in March, The Danish government reached a decision that Syria is safe for Syrian migrants to return to, and as a result, Denmark is no longer granting asylum to Syrian refugees.

Sweden’s new stance on Syrian refugees came about because several Danish reports have reached roughly the same conclusion. The Danish reports — which, among other things, have formed the basis for more Syrians having their Danish residence permit revoked — have been strongly criticized.

Denmark was alone in assessing that the security situation has improved, several politicians have claimed. In addition, sources included in the Danish reports have sharply distanced themselves from the conclusions.

Unlike Denmark, Sweden does not actively repatriate Syrians who have been granted residence permits in the country. However, the Swedes no longer automatically grant asylum to those who are from one of the seven Syrian provinces where the situation is assessed to be improving.

Title image: Children cross through an opening in a fence at al-Hol camp that houses some 60,000 refugees, including families and supporters of the Islamic State group, many of them foreign nationals, in Hasakeh province, Syria, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Kurdish officials say security has improved at the sprawling camp in northeast Syria, but concerns are growing of a coronavirus outbreak in the facility. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad)

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