Spoiler: This post was published as a letter to the newspaper Sydöstran on 2/1/2023. The conditions for refugees from Ukraine arriving to Sweden are worse than the conditions for other refugees. This is not only unworthy. It is also a waste of resources. Ukrainians who have come to Sweden are more highly educated than residents in Sweden and have a higher probability of being employed than others with a similar background.
The Kremlin dictatorship fails to defeat Ukraine on the battlefield. By terror-bombing homes, hospitals and civilian infrastructure, the terrorists in the Kremlin hope that the lack of heat, electricity and water will cause Ukrainians to flee to the west.
Putin hopes that increased costs for refugees will make us stop supporting Ukraine’s fight against the war of extermination. He will not succeed. Ukrainian refugees are well received and in many countries are given the opportunity to support themselves by meeting the minimum rules of the EU’s mass migration directive.
As the liberal columnist Alex Voronov pointed out, Sweden is unfortunately an exception and allows Ukrainian refugees to live in a state of emergency. Ukrainian refugees are not registered and do not receive a social security number. Thus, they are not given the right to study in Swedish for immigrants, SFI, and to take part in establishment efforts.
Instead of offering Swedish education in SFI for Ukrainian refugees, the government leaves the responsibility to folk high schools, which have poorer opportunities and resources to carry out the education. The training is worse than SFI’s and is only provided in around sixty percent of Sweden’s municipalities. In addition, many Ukrainians who are offered jobs are prevented from moving to the place of employment and taking them, as municipalities and county administrations in bureaucratic zeal prevent this. The Ukrainian refugees are expected to live on 71 kroner a day.
This is not only an undignified treatment of the refugees, it is also a waste of resources. Economists Fredrik W Andersson and Eskil Wadensjö have shown in an analysis of previously arrived Ukrainians in the years 2004-2020 that people in this group are employed to a much higher degree than arrivals from countries outside the EU/EEA.
An individual’s opportunity to work is largely dependent on her education. Arriving from Ukraine, and especially women, have a higher education than the average for all residents in Sweden. The analysis also shows that Ukrainians have a higher probability of being employed than individuals born in Sweden with similar characteristics.
But the analysis also shows that on an unused resource. Despite the higher level of education, Ukrainian women have lower employment compared to men than women born in Sweden compared to men born in Sweden. In addition, Andersson and Wadensjö show that the probability of being employed is lower for refugees than for other arrived Ukrainians.
These results show that the government’s policy is not only unworthy but also a waste of resources. The Ukrainian refugees are mainly women with high education with a high probability of getting a job. But the government’s policy prevents them while leading to higher expenses and lower incomes than on a level playing field for Ukrainian refugees and other refugees.