Sweden-Macedonia : Mobilization for Besa and Besjian Guest columnist : Jana Zengovska, Coordinator of the S.O.S help line for Children and Youth, First Children's Embassy in the World – Megjashi, Republic of Macedonia
Our organization the First Children's Embassy in the World was informed by the Macedonian media that two minors , Besa and Besijan A. aged five and nine , citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, staying in Sweden, were about to be deported from the Swedish city of Lund back to their native country. According to the information provided from the children’s relatives they had been staying illegally in Sweden since 2006.The father died a year ago and his identity is unfamiliar to the Ministry of internal affairs. The mother Mukder A. (30) who has mental problems, applied for permanent residence but was rejected. With no mercy she left her children in a shelter and disappeared.
In meantime, the girl and her little brother, started attending school. The Swedish language is now the only language they speak. The media reported that their relatives in Arachinovo don’t want to foster the children, so their fate is in the hand of social services of both countries. The Ministry of internal affairs of Macedonia then revealed to the media that on March 24th, 2011, the children were going to be deported to Macedonia, and the traveling warrants had been released on 21.03.2011 from the relevant institutions. This decision was justified by the Swedish migration office by the fact that the children have no grounds to stay in Sweden. In view of their underage status, though, Swedish authorities insisted that the transfer be duly accompanied.
Our Ministry of foreign affairs for its part assured that the social services were ready to receive the children. First they would be fostered in an orphanage, and after that, the opportunity for the children to be adopted from the closest relatives or foster families would be considered.
Many experts have criticized the Swedish authorities for this decision, and suggested that the institutions should be very careful in pursuing this case as not to prejudice the rights of children and not to seal their fate. Two Swedish doctors followed the case and sent a protest to the Director General of the Swedish migration office. They consider that deporting minor children without their mother in a State of which they do not know the language is irresponsible. "I believe I am one of those who have the longest experience in such cases and I've never seen anything like that," said Swedish doctor Lars Gustavson.
Children's lawyer Peter Henriksson, stated -"It is incomprehensible."
Upon receiving such information, First Children's Embassy in the World, as an international organization that works in the field of child protection and rights, immediately addressed submissions to :
The Ministry of foreign affairs of Macedonia, to the Department of consular affairs. We got their reply, giving detailed information on the case and the measures they were taking. We have been informed that the Police administration of the area of Skone, asked the Ministry of foreign affairs to issue travel documents for readmission of Mukder, Besijan and Besa A..
We wrote to the Swedish Ombudsman, explaining that we were aware of the case and following it, and we hoped that the decision issued would not affect the children’s interests and rights guaranteed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Upon this, we were informed by telephone that the children were not being deported to Macedonia. The Swedish Migration Office was reconsidering the decision, meanwhile postponing deportation. The turbulent experts’ statements and the complaints of the Swedish medics, have led institutions to reconsidered the decision. The final outcome of the procedure was that on March 23rd, 2011, the initial decision was changed for the minors Besa and Besijan A. They were allowed to stay in Sweden.