Sweden has joined a dozen fellow European nations in agreeing to UNHCR quotas for the acceptance of Eritrean and Somali refugees from camps in Sudan and Kenya. The UNHCR is the refugee division of the United Nations and it has been working to get its quota proposal accepted on a global scale.
“It feels good that Sweden can take part in such a large humanitarian operation,” the Director General of the Swedish Migration Board, Dan Eliasson said.
“These camps are in some of the most difficult places on Earth, where the living conditions are dreadful. Now we can help to ensure…that these people that live there can come to Europe and the USA,” Eliasson said during an interview on Swedish Radio’s news feature Ekot. The news source claimed that Sweden will be taking in a further 200 refugees in addition to its current total of just under 3,000.
Sweden accepts the most refugees under the quota system, with around 1,900 of the total 4,800 European arrivals last year finding sanctuary in Sweden. The country has also been at the forefront of the push for other member states to increase their acceptance of the UN quotas.
Sweden is the main destination for Iraqi refugees, with only Jordan, Syria and Lebanon housing more. The UN estimates almost 2 million people have fled Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003. Recently, Sweden has begun deporting some asylum seekers as it claims parts of Iraq are now safe enough to live in.