Sweden is faced with a challenge as migrant children are being taken to their countries under the guise of “educational tours” amid suspicion there were being taken there, against their will, to prevent them from being westernised and were facing different kinds of abuse.
It emerged that thousands of migrant boys are taken to their home countries each year, a move said to avoid them being immersed in Swedish culture.
A senior investigator at the Equality Authority Mikael Thörn said the trips could be anything from visiting relatives, schools among other things that can be strict.
Last year, the Foreign Ministry recorded 127 cases of forceful abductions abroad, involving forced marriages, female genital mutilation and so-called educational trips.
Thirty of the cases concerned boys.
Thörn believes this is the tip of the iceberg.
For example, in Somali language, there are words used that mean “return to culture” or “rehabilitation trip” to denote a situation where children born and bred in Europe or the Americas are sent to their parents’ native land for ‘enlightenment’.
Thörn says such trips usually have traumatic effects to the children.
Seventeen primary school students went missing after the summer vacation, most of them boys.
Researchers say about 40 percent of the Swedish population aged 0-30 have some foreign background element.