Police officers' use of discretion in forced repatriations of unaccompanied, asylum-seeking refugee children: balancing efficiency and dignity
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice, ISSN 2332-6832, Vol. 3, no 3, 101-108 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Many countries in the European Union (EU)—among them Sweden—are engaged in accelerated removals of refugees, including unaccompanied, asylum-seeking refugee children. Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), international directives and national policies prescribe that the dignity of refugees must be respected when they are forcibly repatriated to their countries of origin. Simultaneously however, the government demands that police services improve their efficiency by continuously increasing the number of forced repatriations, something that prompts a question on the relationship between efficiency and dignity. To what extent is there a conflict between these two goals? Against this backdrop, the aim of this paper is to explore and analyse how Swedish police officers perceive their participation in forced repatriations of unaccompanied, asylum-seeking refugee children. Interviews with police officers were conducted and analysed drawing on Lipsky's street-level bureaucracy perspective. The findings show that police officers use discretion to create individual perceptions of what constitutes an efficient and dignified repatriation. One main conclusion is that they perceive no conflict between efficiency and dignity. The police officers' own interpretations of what dignity is make it cognitively possible for them to combine efficiency and dignity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Horizon Research Publishing Corporation , 2015. Vol. 3, no 3, 101-108 p.
Discretion, Police, Street-level Bureaucracy, Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Refugee Children
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-106973DOI: 10.13189/ijrh.2015.030301OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-106973DiVA: diva2:845845