In Sweden, you are considered to be a child until you turn 18. Asylum-seeking children have the same rights as all children in Sweden.
That means, for example, that you have the right to live in safety, to go to school, and to have leisure time. You are entitled to any healthcare and dental care you might need. You get to make decisions about your own body, and no one can force you to have sex or get married. No one is allowed to hit you or threaten you.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the law in Sweden. It states what rights all children should have. Some of the most important rules in the Convention on the Rights of the Child are:
- All children have the right to live and develop.
- The best interests of the child should always be important.
- Children have the right to speak their minds.
- All children have the same rights.
When adults who are responsible for you make a decision that affects you, they need to listen to what you want and think about what is best for you. You have the right to say what you think and to be heard, but that doesn’t mean that things will always turn out the way you want.
You have the right to special support
Children who apply for protection without their parents, so-called “unaccompanied minors”, have the right to special support. It is the social services in the municipality where you live that must ensure that you get accommodations that suit you and your needs. You also get a “guardian” to speak for you when your parents cannot. You are entitled to this support even if you come to Sweden with an adult who is not your parent.