The United Nations has criticised Sweden for an increase in children being detained, as statistics from the Swedish prosecutor’s office have revealed.
In Sweden, the detainment of a minor is generally only used when no other solutions are available to the authorities but despite this, there has been a rise in the number of arrests followed by detainment over the last year, Sveriges Radio reports.
The Ombudsman for Children (BO) says that they hope the situation will change, noting a report which stated: “When we met children in 2013, they were isolated for 22 or more of the 24 hours of the day; that is to be equated to torture according to the UN.”
Youth Prosecutor Sara Stolper told Sveriges Radio: “In cases where an arrest is needed, it is precisely in cases where there is a young person who can influence the investigation, then there is often no alternative to guaranteeing that a person does not contact fellow suspects or witnesses.”
Sweden has seen several high profile criminal cases involving underage suspects, including that of a 15-year-old Afghan migrant who was found guilty of attempted murder in December last year.