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  • Guri Tyldum, Ida Kjeøy and Ragna Lillevik

Different policies, different outcomes

The reception of Ukrainian refugees in Sweden and Norway

  • Second edition
  • Second edition

Most northern European countries, including Norway, have given Ukrainian refugees rights equivalent to other refugee groups. In Sweden, refugees on temporary collective protection only get rights equal to asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their application for protection. Limited rights for Ukrainians in Sweden may have resulted in lower numbers of arrivals to Sweden than we would otherwise have seen. By not providing access to language courses and other integration measures that refugees usually receive, Sweden has also reduced the short-term costs of the influx of displaced Ukrainians. The Swedish strategy is also associated with more poverty. In this policy brief researchers describe how Ukrainian refugees who are full-time workers, still barely have money for food. The jobs they get are often part-time, temporary, low-paid and physically demanding. Those who cannot work, or cannot find work, talk about deep poverty.

Based on experience from previous refugee flows and surveys among Ukrainians in the Nordic region, we must assume that most Ukrainians in both Norway and Sweden will remain, even if the war were to end soon. Compared to Sweden, Norway has invested more in the long-term integration of Ukrainian refugees. This seems to reduce the refugees' economic vulnerability considerably, and increase their ambitions, and probably also their ability, to enter the more well-organized parts of the labour market. Whether this investment strategy will result in more long-term and stable ties to the labour market over time is too early to say.

  • Publisert: 11. august 2023
  • Ordrenr. 967