Asylum seekers with apathetic refugee children

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Event.png "“Humanitarian intervention”"
Asylum seekers with apathetic refugee children (court case,  crime,  child abuse,  “refugee”) Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
The case of the apathetic refugee children.
DescriptionPolitical controversy in Sweden

Asylum seekers with apathetic refugee children was a medical and political debate in Sweden in 2006 concerning asylum seekers who came to Sweden with apathetic children. psychiatrist Thomas Jackson, the state investigation expert believed that the children were being abused and should be separated from their parents. The debate ended with a more generous refugee policy that formulated a new condition for the apathetic children titled "resignation syndrome".[1]


The debate involved several doctors, reporters, and activists who all engaged with the goal of understanding whether the children were simulating or if they were victims of severe abuse. According to an article published in Svenska Dagbladet by chief physician Hans Bendz, simulation is a known phenomena and it is not impossible in the case of the apathetic children. A study conducted in 2016 stated that the children were either catatonic as a result of psychogenic stress due to waiting for asylum or that they were a victims of malingering by proxy, rendering them unable to eat, drink or talk.

The hypothesis was that the children had become severely catatonic once they had found out that they were being deported as families lacked asylum. The Swedish Social and Health Authority, in its Guidelines on Uppgivenhets Syndrome published in 2013, writes that a patient is not completely healthy until the family has received a permanent residence permit.[2]

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