World Refugee Day 2007 National Activities: Sweden
World Refugee Day, 20 June 2007
Swedish NGO Paperless Stockholm organized a rally to demand residence permits and rights for all refugees. Up to 800 people attended the rally to support a year-long campaign against discrimination.
- "Hello Sweden – to feel home in a new country"
- A Syrian boy who risked his life to cross the sea.
- Syria Crisis: UNHCR urges European Union states to honour their asylum system principles
- Away Alone: Unaccompanied children find shelter after fleeing Libya
- Detained Eritrean deserters leave Yemen for a new life in Sweden
UNHCR country pages
Mahmoud's Journey: A Young Syrian Survives Being Shot At, Detained and Bullied to Find a New Life in Sweden
A photo essay by Shawn Baldwin and Johan Bävman
A photograph of Syrian refugee, Mahmoud, shows the nine-year-old looking wistfully out of the window of an apartment block in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Perhaps he is thinking of happier days at school in his home town of Aleppo or maybe he is wondering what life will be like when he and his family are resettled in Sweden. When the image was taken late last year, Mahmoud had not been able to attend school for two years. His family had fled Syria in October 2012. Like 300,000 other Syrians, they sought shelter in Egypt, where life was tough - and became tougher in 2013, when public opinion began to turn against the Syrians as Egypt struggled with its own problems. Mahmoud became the target of bullies, even at one point being physically attacked. Afterwards, he refused to leave the rented family apartment in 6th of October City, a drab, sand-swept satellite suburb of Cairo.
Mahmoud's father tried to send him to Italy on a smuggler's boat, but the vessel was fired on and the traumatized boy ended up spending five days in a local detention centre. Once back home, he fell target to the bullying once more. But his case came to the attention of UNHCR and the refugee agency recommended Mahmoud and his family for resettlement. In January 2014, Mahmoud and his family flew to Sweden to begin a new life in the small town of Torsby, where he runs and plays outside without fear - he even had his first snowball fight. And now he is back at school.