A Swiss youth hostel in the canton of Baselland, wanted to care for three unaccompanied child refugees. The idea was to give them everything they needed for successful integration. The result was disastrous.

In the summer of 2016, the three child refugees were given free youth homes that cost normally on average 300 francs (258 euros) per day, per person. They weren’t even moved into their rooms in fall of 2016, when the trouble started.

To be prepared for winter in Switzerland, the home carers supplied the three young men with winter clothes. But they didn’t like the clothes: “They were disappointed and told us they would rather go shopping at H&M or Dolce & Gabbana,” a care worker said.

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The care workers later found out that the child refugees were selling clothes and stolen goods to other parties. Apparently their monthly pocket money of 160 francs (137 euros) wasn’t enough.

One of the young men, called Ahmed, complained about his supervisor, that he didn’t have enough time for him, etc. But reality was different according to a report and his complaint was dismissed.

A report says it was Ahmed himself, who rejected school, the work in the home and the cooperation with the support staff: Ahmed has “very high demands” on his environment, which nobody can do any justice. For example, he demands “a care worker who is available to him 24 hours a day, seven days a week”, and who “fulfils all his wishes immediately.”

Another asylum seeker behaved in the same way: He suddenly acted as if he did not know the rules of the house, he resisted agreements, provoked the other inhabitants with his behaviour and appeared very disrespectful to individual team members. According to the article in the Basler newspaper the expectations of the men “were as high as if they were guests in a five-star hotel”.

Two of the youngsters also received a season pass for the swimming pool, a bicycle and other things, to give them an enjoyable leisure time. It resulted in serious incidents as several women were sexually harassed.

After crisis meetings, several warnings and deep disappointment of the staff, the young refugees were relocated after less than a year. The team described the young men as “troublemakers with a high claim mentality and a low willingness to perform”.

The case of the young men is “unfortunately not an isolated case, but the rule,” says a person who looks after unaccompanied child refugees. He does not want to lump all migrants together. “But out of ten underage refugees, seven are behaving according to this destructive pattern: that’s the reality.”

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