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Save the Children Sweden
Save the Children has worked for unaccompanied refugee children since the 1980s. Children and young people who come to Sweden to seek asylum without a parent or guardian is in a very vulnerable position. The first thing they need is a legal representative, that’s the key to a good reception. Since people under 18 are not able to enter into contracts or make their case before the authorities or the courts, the legal representative may represent them in all matters affecting their personal, financial and legal affairs. Save the Children is working to ensure that all unaccompanied refugee children are getting a legal representative within 24 hours after the child has registered with the Migration Board. This report reveals that there is a long way to go. One-third of unaccompanied children who were interviewed had a legal representative within a week, one third had to wait up to a month, and third in two to three months. Save the Children believes that the law of trustee for unaccompanied children should be amended to clarify that all children are entitled to a trustee within 24 hours. Save the Children argues in favor of setting up a duty roster of good men in the municipalities. This report is a short version of a longer study that is part of a project supported by the European Commission and the Daphne III, and conducted in eight European countries. The project aims to assist trustees in Europe to find workable solutions for unaccompanied refugee children, and to establish an EU policy and the harmonization of the practical work with the legal representative in the EU.