A new cooperation agreement between Sweden and Morocco to share their fingerprint databases has revealed that 90 per cent of “underage” Moroccan asylum seekers are really adults.
Per Löwenberg, Group Head of the Swedish National Border Policy Division, commented on the new agreement, saying: “We have been given permission to work very well with Moroccan authorities, and have a working routine that we are very pleased with,” Sveriges Radio reports.
Moroccan migrants who come to Sweden as asylum seekers are often rejected for asylum status and many end up living homeless or getting involved in organised crime. The new system will not only be able to identify those who are lying about their age but also help with the deportation of migrants without travel documents.
The identification rate of the asylum seekers is said to be around 75 per cent and the agreement has been championed by Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson, who said: “It has been understood that Morocco is also responsible for taking responsibility for its own citizens.”
While the chances of deporting failed asylum seekers have increased, border police officer Löwenberg admitted that it was still not an easy task, saying: “This is an incredibly exposed group. And it’s also an incredibly hard job to perform these expulsions.”
Before the agreement, Sweden largely relied on medical tests to determine the age of asylum seekers claiming to be underage.
Tests conducted between mid-March and late October by the National Board of Forensic Medicine (Rättsmedicinalverket) have revealed that 83 per cent of the “underage” migrants tested were actually adults.
Germany is another country that has had issues with identifying whether asylum seekers are telling the truth about their age. The German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs announced that of the 55,890 “underage” asylum seekers who came to Germany in 2017, 24,116, or 43 per cent, were adults.
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