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Parliament debate on deficient language tests

Press Release   •   Dec 10, 2014 09:02 CET

Investigative media force a debate in Swedish parliament. Supposedly defective asylum investigations by a contractor to the Migration Board call for measures.

The Swedish Migration Board allows asylum seekers lacking other means of substantiating their origin to undergo tests of their language. If a dialect matching their given residential history can be displayed, this may substitute for proper documentation of their claimed background.

Following a series of reports in the media pointing out quality deficiencies in the language tests provided to the Swedish Migration Board by a contractor, Member of Parliament Désirée Pethrus, of the Christian Democrats, addressed questions to Minister of Justice Morgan Johansson, Social Democrats. The questions on 2nd December primarily concerned measures envisaged to ensure quality of language test.

The Minister of Justice denied the basis for the questions and argued the quality of the service provided was in fact satisfactory. To support this he referred to a study by UNHCR published in 2011. He also declared that, nevertheless, an external quality evaluation would take place during 2015 with a view to evaluate current practices as well as alternative methods.

The Minister of Justice assured the parliament that a close and continuous dialogue between the government and the authority was already in place. Thanks to this he could confirm that the authority had taken the criticism concerning quality fully on board. In addition to this, he pledged that specific language on legal certainty will be introduced into the letter of appropriation governing the Swedish Migration Board 2015.

The Minister of Justice concluded by emphasizing that the asylum procedure is important, and that within it the quality of the language tests is a priority.

For the official protocol of Questions in the Parliament to the Minister of Justice, please refer to Interpellation 2014:15/139 (Read the protocol in Swedish)

For further information, please contact:

Per Lunqe, Press Officer
46 735 106010
per.lunqe@live.se 

Verified provides expert testimony regarding linguistic behaviour, in particular relating to an individual´s linguistic background. These services are required by police, migration authorities and immigration attorneys for trials in court.  We also assist non governmental organisations.

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