Adequate support during the interview
Although there is no specialised unit dealing with vulnerable groups at the Migration Agency, the issue of special needs of vulnerable asylum seekers is mainstreamed in the training of caseworkers. The Migration Agency has developed training courses for caseworkers who interview children, inter alia based on European Asylum Support Office (EASO) training modules, and those who have completed this training are designated as case workers especially for unaccompanied children. Similar courses have been carried out and instructions issued in relation to women refugee claimants and claimants with LGBTQI grounds.
Examples of measures taken given in the standard developed by the then Quality Assurance Unit of the Migration Agency on 25 September 2017 include: prolonging the procedure to allow time for the applicant to put forward his or her claims; choosing a suitable residence for the applicant; flagging medical care needs to the health authorities. It is stressed that employees of the Agency should refrain from making any medical assessment but that they should note what the applicant states about their medical condition. If the applicant states they have suffered torture then the veracity of that statement must not be investigated by agency employees. A suitable measure in such cases can be to lengthen the time for the procedure and, if necessary, book a medico-legal investigation. This is not always done even though an applicant hands in a medical certificate in the original from her home country written in English describing her injuries and the kind of torture she was subjected to.
Persons with special needs are generally channelled in the regular procedure, in particular where there are indications that an age assessment is needed or indications of human trafficking, torture, or issues of sexual orientation or gender identity. Applicants who are mentally handicapped and unable to act as a legally competent person must have a guardian appointed by the County Court. No investigation shall take place until such a person has been appointed. If special reports are needed to verify trauma of various kinds, the Migration Agency can grant an extension of the normal procedure time to accommodate this need and to collect additional documentation. Sometimes the applicant is not given enough time to do so.
Exemption from special procedures
When implementing the Asylum Procedures Directive, Sweden saw no need to change or modify existing legislation, due to the new Article 24 on applicants in need of special procedural guarantees, even though many authorities and organisations, including Migration Agency, Swedish Red Cross and UNHCR, saw a need to do so.
Unaccompanied children and other vulnerable groups are not per se exempted from the accelerated procedure, although individual assessments of the appropriate track to be applied may be made continuously. “Track 4” may be applied to an unaccompanied child who has an unfounded claim and who can be accommodated in reception facilities in the country of origin.
 Information provided by the Migration Agency, August 2017.
Migration Agency, Kvalitetschefens instruktion om standard för dokumentation av särskilda behov, I-78/2017, 25 September 2017.
A Zimbabwean case known to the author and where a decision is expected soon at the appeal level.
 Migration Agency, Rättsligt ställningstagande angående handläggning av psykiskt funktionshindrades vuxnas ansökningar om uppehållstillstånd när det gäller förordnande av förvaltare eller god man (Legal Counsel’s Legal position on processing of applications submitted by mentally disabled adults and with regard to appointment of legal representatives or legal guardians), 16 February 2012, RCI 05/2012, available at: http://bit.ly/1mzE6Dr.