COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. At its 1224th and
1225th meetings, held on 8 and 11 August 1997, the Committee considered
the twelfth periodic report of Sweden (CERD/C/280/Add.4), and adopted,
at its 1240th meeting, held on 20 August 1997, the following concluding
2. The Committee welcomes
the detailed report submitted by the State party, which contains
relevant information about measures taken with respect to the implementation
of the Convention since the consideration of the eleventh periodic
report. The Committee also welcomes the detailed answers to questions
raised and concerns expressed during the consideration of the report.
It expresses its appreciation for the frank and constructive dialogue
with the delegation and for the comprehensive and thorough answers
given orally to the wide range of questions asked by members.
B. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the
3. It is noted that
the recession has had serious consequences for the State party in
general and has led to severe setbacks for refugees and immigrants,
in particular. The consequences of the recession have been most
felt in the labour market situation of refugees and immigrants,
who have been found worse off than Swedes in most areas of society,
and the gap has been widening.
C. Positive aspects
4. The high standards
of the State party regarding the protection of human rights and
its affirmed commitment to implementing the provisions of the Convention
are noted with appreciation. Sweden is among the limited number
of States parties that has made the declaration under article 14
of the Convention and has accepted the amendment to article 8, paragraph
6, of the Convention.
5. The statement to
the effect that the State party has in just a few decades developed
from a relatively ethnically homogenous society into a multi-cultural
society (para.2 of the report) has been noted with great interest
6. The Committee notes
that the State party intends to review the Act against Ethnic Discrimination
of 1994 because it is not having the desired effect.
7. The Committee welcomes
the adoption of new legislation which broadens the definition of
8. The activities of
various governmental institutions concerned with integration policies
and combating racism and xenophobia, such as the Ombudsman against
Ethnic Discrimination, the Swedish Immigration Board, the Parliamentary
Commission entrusted with the task to review Swedish immigration
and refugee policies, and the Parliamentary Commission reviewing
policies with respect to the long-term integration of immigrants
and refugees in Sweden as well as the active participation of the
State party in international efforts to combat racism are welcomed.
9. The Committee welcomes
the establishment of the Sami Parliament and will follow its work
10. Note is taken with
appreciation of the fact that in Sweden non-nationals have the right
to vote and stand for election in municipal elections.
11. It is noted with
appreciation that the State party has established a system of education
for refugees and immigrants.
D. Principal subjects of concern
12. The Committee expresses
concern at the finding of a research project conducted by the National
Council for Crime Prevention that crimes with racial motives have
increased since 1980.
13. The social position
of Roma, particularly in such areas as education and employment,
has been found to be less favourable than that of the rest of the
population. As a result, many of them depend on social welfare benefits.
14. Concern is expressed
that existing legislation does not fully implement article 4 of
15. Concern is expressed
about the low and declining participation by non-nationals in local
16. Concern is also
expressed at the activities based on ideas or theories of racial
superiority of various organizations and individuals in the State
party, and at the increasing dissemination of recorded music, with
lyrics promoting hatred against ethnic minorities.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
17. The Committee recommends
that the State party, while reviewing its legislation, pay particular
attention to the full implementation of the provisions of the Convention,
in particular article 4, and calls attention to its General Recommendation
18. The Committee recommends
that the State party provide in its next periodic report information
on the number of complaints, judicial decisions and compensation
awards concerning acts of racism in all their forms.
19. It is the view of
the Committee that further measures should be taken in order to
ensure the use by Sami of their own language.
20. The Committee recommends
that the policy of promoting equal opportunity in economic and social
life for immigrants, refugees and ethnic minorities be reinforced
by appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures.
21. The Committee suggests
that further action be taken to ensure that the provisions of the
Convention are more widely disseminated among the Roma, the Sami
and "Tornedal Finns", immigrant associations, and other ethnic groups,
as well as among government officials, employers and trade unions.
The public should also be better informed about available recourse
under article 14 of the Convention. Furthermore, it is recommended
that the twelfth periodic report be widely disseminated, along with
the concluding observations adopted by the Committee thereon.
22. The Committee recommends
that the State party's next periodic report, due on 5 January 1997,
be an updating report and that it address all the points raised
in the present observations.