Place of detention


Country Report: Place of detention Last updated: 21/04/21


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There were six detention centres in 2019 (Gävle, Märsta, Flen, Kållered, Ljungbyhed and Åstorp) with a total of 16 units and an overall capacity of 528 persons.[1] The places in the detention centres have been close to fully occupied throughout 2019.

These centres can also hold third-country nationals who have never sought asylum but have received an expulsion order on other grounds such as minor crimes or for overstaying.

The detention centres have to take responsibility for all those aliens who have received an expulsion or deportation order. However, persons who have an expulsion order because they committed a serious crime are detained either by the prison authority or the police.

Furthermore, detainees who pose a real threat to others can also be removed to police custody.[2] However, a child under 18 may never be placed in a prison or in a police holding centre. There are no special detention centres for children.

The placement of asylum seekers and irregular migrants in police custody units and prisons has been criticised by NGOs and the Council of Europe Committee on the Prevention of Torture (CPT).[3] This still occurs but statistics are not currently available on the number of cases where it has happened.


[1] Migration Agency, Annual Report 2019, p. 77, available in Swedish at:

[2] Ch. 11, Section 7 Aliens Act.

[3] See Swedish Red Cross, Förvar under lupp (Detention centres under the magnifying glass), May 2012, available at:; CPT, Report sent to the Swedish Government on the visit to Sweden from 9 to 18 June 2009, 11 December 2009, available at:


Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – I Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation