Sammanfattning av publikation

Salomonsson & Hedlund, 2018 đź”—

Where Do We Go From Here? Challenges and Strategies Following Additional Asylum Policy Restrictions in Sweden

Year: 2018

Type of text: Policy note made from a panel discussion at the annual Swedish Forum for Human

Rights November 18 2016

Published by:  Journal of Human Rights Practice, 10

Language: English

Author: Lisa Salomonsson & Daniel Hedlund

Pages: 12

Available at: LibSearch and [inte offentligt tillgänglig]

Short description of text 

There is initially a description of Swedish asylum policy with focus on post-2015 changes. Subsequently, there is a description of opinions held by the panelists of a panel discussion organized by the IMER association at a conference. The panel had an overrepresentation of academicians rather than practitioners. 

Most important results

“The initial question put to the panel was about whether they could see any alternative to the current way the Swedish state processes asylum seekers. This question was not answered. Instead, discussion shifted towards a pragmatic discussion on how to work and how to resist within the existing system, and on occupational work and strategies within occupational frameworks. Another thing we found interesting is how a panel discussion which started out exploring possible alternatives beyond the existing framework ended up focusing so much on occupational work and strategies within that same framework.” (532)

“The key insights drawn from the panel discussion can be summarized as follows: even though legislation demarcates who may or may not enter a certain territory at particular times there are also possibilities to look beyond legislation and see resistance in people’s daily practice (see above). Grassroots and professional strategies of resistance also give important insights into how people working with refugees are trying to influence the reception system from the inside even if this appears to only entail short-term engagement and to lack wider political impact. The political, professional and civil resistance strategies currently appear fragmented and based on different understandings of rights and therefore unable to form the basis of a progressive collective and organized movement” (533)

Theoretical perspective/framework


Transcribed and coded panel contributions from panel organized by the IMER association on November 18 within the conference Swedish Forum for Human Rights 2016

“The panel participants were: 

  • Dr Elisabeth Abiri, who has extensive experience in peace and development research at Gothenburg University, is currently Senior Consultant at Emerga Research and Consulting and advises Swedish NGOs, municipalities and other public authorities in her capacity as a human rights expert; 
  • Ali Ahmadi, co-founder of the Asylum Relay (Asylstafetten) and Refugees Welcome, who also spent 15 years as an undocumented refugee and unaccompanied asylum-seeker in Europe; 
  • Louise Dane, lawyer, migration law expert and doctoral candidate at Stockholm University; 
  • Jonathan Josefsson, a doctoral candidate at Linkoping University analysing the decisions and precedents of the Swedish Migration Court of Appeal; 
  • Jacob Lind, a doctoral candidate at Malmo University exploring the living conditions and agency of undocumented migrants in Sweden and the United Kingdom.” (529)

Suggestions for further research

“1. Ways of linking human rights to professional ethics. We propose further exploration of different occupational groups, especially regarding how their occupational ethics, autonomy and everyday lives and work situations are influenced by changes in policy.5 The field of sociology of emotions appears to have carried out groundbreaking work in similar areas, providing insight into how ethics, emotions and discourses influence institutional practices and how institutional practices contribute to shaping emotional regimes (see Kahn and Fa´bos 2018). 

2. How dominant framings of the links between security, borders and migrants can be challenged at different levels. For example, how ways of framing certain issues by political parties, public authorities, and local welfare state actors are challenged by different grassroots activists and in particular welfare professional and/or occupational groups, since many of these groups have formal ties to the public authorities and other welfare state actors.” (533)

Summarized by: Josefin Åström