Sweden Wants to Extend Exit Ban to Protect Children & Young People

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The Swedish government is pushing for stricter measures to protect children and young people in the country from potentially harmful situations abroad.

Through a new bill, the government has proposed the extension of the exit ban for minors, aiming to prevent cases of forced conversions and cases where children are kept away from social services in Sweden, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Emphasising the importance of safeguarding childโ€™s right to a secure future in the country, the Swedish Social Services Minister Camilla Waltersson Grรถnvall said that no one should be forced to leave the country.

The same stressed that it is crucial for social services to have all the tools that are needed to intervene in cases when children are at risk of being taken outside the country forcefully

All children have the right to a safe and bright future, and no school desks should be left empty because children have been taken abroad against their will.

Swedish Social Services Minister Camilla Waltersson Grรถnval

The Swedish Minister of Equality, Paulina Brandberg, also commented on the matter. She highlighted the significance of robust legislation in protecting children while they are within Swedenโ€™s borders.

It is very important that we have powerful legislation that can really help children who are at risk of being taken out of Sweden while the children are still on Swedish soil. As soon as children have been taken abroad, our opportunities to act to help them are limited.

Swedish Minister of Equality, Paulina Brandberg

In line with the current rules that Sweden has, children under 18 can be subject to an exit ban if there is a risk of forced marriage, genital mutilation, or other forms of harm.

The proposed extension by the government broadens the criteria to include a travel ban outside Sweden in situations where a childโ€™s health might be jeopardised due to circumstances like abuse, exploitation, violence, or substance misuse during their stay abroad.

In addition, the bill suggests expanding criminal liability to cover cases where children under the age of 15 are taken away to prevent intervention under the Child Welfare Act.

It has also been proposed that the information on individuals with travel bans remain confidential as this information is very sensitive.

The proposed changes are expected to become fully effective on June 1 of this year, with the Swedish governmentโ€™s main goal remaining the prevention of harm before it occurs.

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