1. The Committee considered
the fourth periodic report of Sweden (CCPR/C/95/Add.4 and HRI/CORE/1/Add.4)
at its 1456th and 1457th meetings, on 23 and 24 October 1995 (see CCPR/C/SR.1456
and 1457) and adopted At its 1470th meeting (fifty-fifth session),
held on 1 November 1995. the following observations:
2. The Committee welcomes
the detailed report presented by Sweden which contains relevant information
about changes and developments that have occurred since the consideration
of the third periodic report. The Committee also welcomes the answers
to questions raised and concerns expressed during the consideration of
that report. It expresses its appreciation for the frank dialogue engaged
with a competent delegation and for the comprehensive and thorough answers
given orally to the wide range of questions asked by members.
B. Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation of the Covenant
3. The Committee finds that there are no significant factors or difficulties
which should prevent the effective implementation of the Covenant in Sweden.
C. Positive aspects
4. The Committee notes with
appreciation the high level of achievement of Sweden with regard to the
protection of the rights guaranteed in the Covenant.
5. The Committee welcomes
the adoption of provisions prohibiting ethnic discrimination in the labour
market as well as the additional powers given to the Ombudsman against
Ethnic Discrimination by conferring upon him a litigating role in the
Labour Court proceedings. It also welcomes the setting up of two parliamentary
commissions on migration and immigration policies to identify gaps in
legislation and to consider improvements in that regard, as well as the
incorporation into the Penal Code of the concept of aggravating circumstances
when a crime has had racial, ethnic, religious or other similar motivations.
6. The Committee welcomes
the various steps taken by the Government, through legislation, studies,
education programmes and integration of gender perspective in all policy
areas, with a view to ensuring equality between men and women.
7. The Committee notes with
satisfaction the adoption and entry into force on 1 February 1992 of the
new Compulsory Mental Care Act and Forensic Mental Care Act, restricting
the use of compulsory care.
8. The Committee expresses
its appreciation for the creation of the post of the Office of the Children's
Ombudsman, and for the provisions introduced in the Penal Code to protect
children against sexual abuse, as well as for the monitoring system of
9. The Committee welcomes
the amendment to the Code on Judicial Procedure, extending judicial review
to the restrictions ordered by the public prosecutor to persons deprived
of their liberty. The Committee also welcomes the extension of the right
to free legal aid for the victims of crimes of violence and crimes involving
infringement of physical integrity.
D. Principal subjects of concern
10. The Committee regrets
that the Covenant as such cannot be directly invoked before Swedish courts
and administrative authorities.
11. The Committee regrets
the decision of the State party not to withdraw any of the reservations
it made at the time of the ratification of the Covenant.
12. The Committee notes with
concern that there is not yet any mechanism to implement views adopted
by the Committee under the Optional Protocol to the Covenant.
13. The Committee notes that
there remain areas where women are subject to de facto discrimination,
in particular with regard to equality of remuneration. The Committee notes
with concern that in certain areas, in particular in public offices, the
situation of women with regard to equal remuneration for work of equal
value has significantly deteriorated recently.
14. Despite efforts made by
the Government to eliminate racial and ethnic discrimination, the Committee
expresses its concern about the rise of racism and xenophobia within Swedish
society and about the high rate of racist crimes and the increase of racist
behaviour among the younger part of the population.
15. The length of detention
of illegal immigrants, asylum-seekers and persons ordered to be expelled
is a cause of concern for the Committee.
16. The Committee is concerned
that the Board of Immigration and the Aliens Appeal Board may in certain
cases yield their jurisdiction to the Government resulting in decisions
of expulsion or denial of immigration or asylum status without the affected
individuals having been given an appropriate hearing. In the Committee's
view, this practice may, in certain circumstances, raise questions under
article 13 of the Covenant.
17. In the view of the Committee,
the amendment to the Code on Judicial Procedures stipulating that in certain
cases both the convicted person and the public prosecutor need leave to
appeal of the Court against a decision in a criminal case may raise in
certain circumstances the question of compatibility with article 14, paragraph
5, of the Covenant.
18. The Committee notes that
legislative provisions adopted recently by the Riksdag, and providing
for the right for everyone to fish and hunt on public lands may have adverse
consequences on the traditional rights of the members of the Sami people.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
19. The Committee recommends
that all necessary steps be taken by the Government to give legal effects
to the rights enshrined in the Covenant in the domestic legal order.
20. The Committee recommends
that measures be taken for the establishment of a mechanism to implement
the views adopted by the Committee under the Optional Protocol to the
21. The Committee recommends
that the reservations made to the Covenant be reviewed with a view to
22. The Committee encourages
the Government to continue its efforts to ensure that the principle of
equal pay for equal work is effectively implemented.
23. The Committee strongly
urges the Government to take appropriate measures to fight the emergence
of racist and xenophobic attitudes among some elements of Swedish society.
The Committee particularly stresses the importance, in that regard, of
educational campaigns in schools and at all levels of society and of media
campaigns aimed at building a society where diverse cultures can coexist
in a spirit of harmony and enrich one another.
24. The Committee urges the
State party to review its legislation governing asylum-seekers and the
expulsion of aliens in order to limit the possibility and extent of detention.
The right to have a case reviewed by a competent authority should be available
against all decisions of detention, expulsion and refusals of immigration
or of asylum.
25. The Committee wishes to
receive ample information in the next periodic report of Sweden on the
implementation of the legislation on leave to appeal in criminal cases
in the light of article 14, paragraph 5, of the Covenant.
26. The Committee recommends
that the recognized customary rights of the Sami people be fully protected
in the light of article 27 of the Covenant.