Sweden to get tougher on discrimination

Sweden's government has presented the Riksdag with a proposal for a new discrimination law.

The new law would replace the gender equity law, and six other laws protecting against various forms of discrimination.

The law also calls for the creation of a new agency, the Office of the Discrimination Ombudsman, according to a statement from the government.

Current regulations cover discrimination in five official areas: gender, ethnic background, religion, disabilities, and sexual preference.

The new law, which is set to take effect on January 1st, 2009, adds age and sexual identity to the list.

The damages awarded today in discrimination suits will be replaced by discrimination compensation.

The prohibition against discrimination applies to all areas of society and for all reasons officially listed, with the exception of age discrimination, which is covered only when it comes to education and employment.

The EU threatened last summer to drag Sweden before the European Court of Justice if it didn’t act to strengthen its laws and raise the level of available compensation.