• Sweden edition
 

Discrimination law fells only two in 20 years

Published: 12 Feb 2013 17:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Feb 2013 17:00 GMT+01:00

Hundreds of employers have been reported in Sweden on the grounds of workplace discrimination, yet the complaints seem to be falling on deaf ears.

Only two employers have been convicted by the Swedish Labour Court (Arbetsdomstolen, AD) since the law was introduced in 1994, reports the Dagens Arbete (DA) newspaper.

Between 2006 and 2011, there were 72 cases reported from within the industrial sector alone, however none of these made it to the Labour Court. Only eight of the cases resulted in a negotiated settlement.

Some of the employees affected, meanwhile, have been left seething at the ethnic discrimination that they feel is even harder to swallow than direct racism.

"If you hear someone in a bar yelling 'blackie' then it's in some way easier to take," Arman Bolourian, who was refused a job at ABB Machine, told the paper.

He was given the boot by his employer at the very end of a four-month recruitment process, despite having the right education and experience for the job. The boss had explained that he didn't fit in with the group.

Annika Höög, a case officer at Sweden's Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen, DO), said she regretted that the system doesn't appear to help the people lodging complaints.

"It's sad if it seems that you can't win," she told the paper.

"It's not that we think it's hopeless to take on ethnic discrimination cases, rather that we choose to investigate those that we think can set a precedent, or those that illustrate bigger societal problem."

TT/The Local/og

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:59 February 12, 2013 by Chuck_Norris
This is concrete proof Sweden does not have discrimination (ironic).
18:25 February 12, 2013 by TG22
This is concrete proof that these people just don't have a case...
19:09 February 12, 2013 by allnotmoney
discrimination and racism are invisible in sweden,welcome a swede smile andhave a sleepless night
20:14 February 12, 2013 by Kronaboy
The problem with the DO is she is a political appointee and the DO is staffed by civil servants who are naturally inclined towards protecting the system from criticism rather than actively pursuing firms with notoriously racist recruitment policies. Sooner we have a Swedish version of the EOC completely independent of the state which proactively seeks infringements the better. In my view the problem is ethnic minorities are politically insignificant (most foreigners don't have the vote) so there is no political motivation for tackling the problem. I have noticed that DO is far more successful in brining case of sex discrimination, presumably because they account for 50% of the electorate??
21:57 February 12, 2013 by StockholmSam
"It's not that we think it's hopeless to take on ethnic discrimination cases, rather that we choose to investigate those that we think can set a precedent, or those that illustrate bigger societal problem."

What a bunch of bullsh*t. The law was put in place to protect the little man, not to create opportunities for sweeping legislation.
23:19 February 12, 2013 by oddsock
[i]I have noticed that DO is far more successful in brining case of sex discrimination, presumably because they account for 50% of the electorate??[/i]

Yes, my office has a gender discrimination board that meets regularly but no mention is ever made of discrimination against non-ethnic Swedes. Because apparently that doesn't happen or something...
23:41 February 12, 2013 by jostein
Its not prejudice. I just prefer other swedes to foreigners, on account me being swedish. Its just nicer and more relaxed. Whether foreigners are better or worse, it really doesnt interest me, i just dont want them around me. Welcome to a multicultural society?
02:50 February 13, 2013 by Enjoyourlife
Long live jostein....Do you think you are super natural? From dust and unto dust we shall return. Even your almighty sweden.....you are a stranger.
06:56 February 13, 2013 by Kronaboy
@jostein

That's fine you are entitled to run your country as you wish, however DO was created because the 2000 Directive on Discrimination required it and as long as you are member of the EU you will abide by your obligations (which also includes the prohibition of Nepotism). You racist Swedes have taken advantage of Generous payments from the EU and exported thousands of your unemployed to countries like the UK, and I for one don't see why my hard earned UK taxes should subsidise your National Socialist employment practices. If you wish to continue with your racist ways then I suggest you do so outside the EU and take back your citizens from countries like the UK, let's see how long the Chinese masters of Volvo stay in Sweden when they have lost their free access to EU, Volvo's can be produced much cheaper in Bulgaria?

@oddsock

Therein lies my argument, namely there is no political motivation it's a vote looser and Centre right parties are desperately trying to claw back the 50+ vote. Don't get me wrong I don't blame the current government they are simply continuing the Racist National Socialist employment practices of the Social Democrats and the Vanster parties. We have heard the frustration caused by the racist disregard of its duties by the DO in other strings, so my suggestion is if you are going to complain of race discrimination then try and bring a Sex Discrimination element, otherwise you're not going to get anywhere, unless your case has been video recorded by the pope, even the DO will accuse him of lying?
11:12 February 13, 2013 by unionisten
Whats wrong with you Kronaboy? I dont want my tax money go to BNP and I dont think i want my tax money go to a mostly homophobic party(tory) I lived in england and for you home countries dont even like each other just look at BBCs discriminiation against Scotland Wales and NI when it comes to sports.

Look how poles are treated in UK. I dont think your in any possition to dictate when sweden should do or not.
11:44 February 13, 2013 by Kronaboy
@unionisten

I'm sorry I'm trying to make sense of your convoluted babble, may I suggest you read a newspaper or two rather than relying on the back page of the mirror for your political views. Whilst I am no tory supporter (far from it) even I have to concede that the tory party is anything but homophobic, (whilst it's never been proven conclusively) it certainly didn't stop Edward Heath from being elected. Coming from minority background and having grown up in a 70's inner city UK ghetto, I think there is very little you can teach me about ethnic discrimination in the UK. While I have to concede direct discrimination is nowhere near the level of the UK, how much of that has to do with Swedish egalitarianism or the fact that Swedes don't speak to foreigners (or to each other for that matter) is a moot point? I any event direct discrimination is not the subject of the article, it's the disgraceful performance of DO.
12:39 February 13, 2013 by Coolbreeze
@jostein

Might I suggest you stay out of the sun because a tan could result in insults (that you personally truly deserved) being directed at you from your like-minded peers. They like you cannot see beyond the skin colour and just see a foreigner
13:01 February 13, 2013 by unionisten
well it seem that I makes as much sence to you as you do to me, Torys was clearlyagainst the rights for homosexuals to marry.

Why should swedes speak to strangers?

The problem for DO is that so many cases they get its word against word or even just percived discrimination.
19:54 February 13, 2013 by Max Reaver
This news echoes harmoniously with the one on CV-name change for foreign job seekers.

http://www.thelocal.se/46022/20130205/

This is why the employers could get away with discrimination of anybody with foreign names, because in Sweden DO is nothing but a farce! Certain people usually jump quickly into the defense in the comment sections, but since they haven't showed up yet, they must have noticed this is something nobody could justify!
Today's headlines
Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden
File photo: Andreas Hagerman/Flickr

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden

After finding traces of listeria in ham sold in Sweden, food companies decided on Friday to recall several Danish cold cuts. READ  

Sweden Floods
More rain expected as floods hit day four
Photo: Anders Kjellberg/TT

More rain expected as floods hit day four

UPDATED: Sweden's floods showed no signs of abating over Thursday night, with highways closed, emergency teams working overtime, and more rain on the way. READ  

Ikea opens first store in the Balkans
An Ikea city centre store in Hamburg. Photo: TT

Ikea opens first store in the Balkans

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has opened its first store in the former Yugoslavia, near Croatia's capital Zagreb. The move marks the company's first step in an expansion to the Balkans market. READ  

Elections 2014
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'

With national elections around the corner, political scientist Stig-Björn Ljunggren says there's a hive of activity behind the scenes, and that the right-wing nationalist party could end up being the key player. READ  

Swedish artist jailed for 'race hate' pictures
Police arrested Dan Park (pictured) and confiscated his art works at an exhibition opening on July 5th. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Swedish artist jailed for 'race hate' pictures

A Malmö court has sentenced Swedish street artist Dan Park to six months in jail for incitement to racial agitation and defamation. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Casting a vote. Photo: Shutterstock

Sweden elections: How do they work?

National, regional, and local elections are taking place in Sweden on September 14th. Whether you're a first-time voter or a fresh armchair observer, The Local's beginners' guide will answer the key questions you were too afraid to ask. READ  

Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
A Romani language class in Malmö. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination

The Swedish government has asked a new commission to create school materials based on a white paper documenting Swedish discrimination of Roma. READ  

Day-care rapist
Day-care rape suspect 'was mentally ill'
Photo: TT

Day-care rape suspect 'was mentally ill'

Social services have ruled that a day-care intern charged with molesting 14 children in southern Sweden was "seriously mentally disturbed". READ  

What's On in Sweden

What's On in Sweden

Autumn has arrived in Sweden, which means grey skies are approaching. But summer goes out with a skip, hop, and a bang - the annual Color Run is taking place in Stockholm this weekend. READ  

Surströmmingspremiär
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season

On the third Thursday of each August, Swedes celebrate the start of the fermented herring season. The Local finds out more about the worst-smelling food on earth, and collects some of the best reaction videos. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
National
Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
National
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
National
Swedish dad takes kids to Israel to learn about war
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

703
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se