Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee
1. The Committee considered the fifth periodic report of Sweden
(CCPR/C/SWE/2000/5) at its 1989th and 1990th meetings (CCPR/C/SR.1989),
on 20 March 2002,
and adopted the following concluding observations at its 2003rd and
2004th meetings (CCPR/C/SR.1990), on 1 April 2002.
2. The Committee welcomes the timely submission of the report by the
State party in accordance with the guidelines. The Committee notes
that the report contains useful information on developments since the
consideration of the fourth periodic report. The Committee also welcomes
the responses given to the questions raised and the concerns expressed
during the consideration of the report. Moreover, the Committee draws
attention to the frankness of the dialogue with the delegation and
the useful oral clarifications provided. Lastly, the Committee takes
note with appreciation of the importance accorded by the delegation
role of non-governmental organizations in promoting and protecting
human rights and to their contributions to the observance of the Covenant.
B. Positive aspects
3. The Committee welcomes the adoption:
(a) In January 2002, of the National Plan of Action for Human Rights,
whose priorities include protection against discrimination, the rights
of the disabled, children and the elderly, the right to housing, national
minorities, the Sami people, deprivation of freedom, and freedom of
(b) In February 2001, of the National Plan of Action against Racism,
Xenophobia, Homophobia and Discrimination;
(c) In 1997, of the National Plan of Action against the Sexual Exploitation
of Children for Commercial Purposes.
4. The Committee notes with satisfaction the legislative amendments
giving access, as from 1 January 2002, to pre-school, primary and secondary
and health care to children requesting asylum, on the same conditions
as children residing in Sweden.
5. The Committee commends the State party for its sustained role in
the international community's efforts to abolish the death penalty.
C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
6. The Committee, while commending the way in which the courts refer
to the Covenant in interpreting rights, regrets that the Covenant as
may not be directly invoked before Swedish courts or before the administrative
authorities. In this connection, it notes that in certain areas (arts.
25, 26 and 27) the Covenant gives greater protection than is accorded
under the European Convention on Human Rights, which has been incorporated
in Swedish domestic law.
The State party should
ensure that its domestic legislation gives full effect to the rights
embodied in the Covenant and that remedies are available for the exercise
of those rights.