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UN bashes Swedish children's rights

TT/The Local/cg · 8 Oct 2011, 11:11

Published: 08 Oct 2011 11:11 GMT+02:00

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Sweden signed the convention in 1990, and an added protocol on child trafficking in 2006.

For the first time, the UN committee in Geneva has now investigated how well the Swedish government has followed the protocol on protecting children against trafficking, prostitution and child pornography.

The government was criticised on more points than Christina Heilborn, children's rights lawyer at Unicef's Swedish division, was expecting, including criticism on how refugee and asylum-seeking children are treated in Sweden.

"The committee feel these groups aren't protected sufficiently here," said Heilborn to news agency TT.

The committee has investigated Sweden and the children's rights convention on four previous occasions.

"A general criticism, which has been voiced several times before, is about making the convention Swedish law. This is a recurring criticism against Sweden, and the government has chosen to completely ignore it."

A country such as Sweden is expected to take a convention about children's human rights very seriously, stated the committee earlier this week.

The government, represented in Geneva by department officials, stated that Swedish laws generally provide children with better protection than the convention does.

When asked by TT how the convention would improve upon Swedish law, Christina Heilborn responded:

Story continues below…

"One major difference would be a clear protection against discrimination, that all children in Sweden would have the same rights by law, whether they lack documents, are in hiding, asylum-seekers or Swedish citizens. Today children are divided into groups which have different rights. This is something which is not allowed according to the children's rights convention."

The UN's Committee on the Rights of the Child also wants Sweden to introduce a harsher definition of what constitutes child pornography.

TT/The Local/cg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:49 October 8, 2011 by Rebel
They pick on Sweden for two reasons -- the UN knows Sweden is one of the few countries that actually takes UN resolutions seriously and the second reason is that Sweden is a tiny country.
13:04 October 8, 2011 by lovedealer76
Thank you UN,it's about time sweden stop discrimination on race which is often raise and no one cares
13:33 October 8, 2011 by motti
A serious accusation made by a comedy act at the UN. Look at the countries that have headed the Human Rights Commisssion. e.g. Syria, Iran, Libya, Egypt etc. Get the message?

There will always be room for continuous improvement. Is anyone seriously suggesting that Sweden is worse than any of the above? Apart from some moaning ethnic minorities or fsacistliberal left wing idiots?
13:44 October 8, 2011 by OUIJA
Children's right in Sweden? Is the UN serious about it?
15:23 October 8, 2011 by lovedealer76

Excuse me mate,do you understand the word race discrimination?cause from what i can gather on this article,they're not talking about blonde hair,blue eyes children,which i presume is why you're so surprise
18:34 October 8, 2011 by Grokh
What about the vast amount of countries that dont respect human rights even though they are part of the UN ?
20:21 October 8, 2011 by skogsbo
The UN is as said a comedy act, just full of double standards with everything they do, countries are allowed to veto everything and anything, especially Russia and China, as they have 'interests' in so many hardline regimes around the globe. The US uses the vaguest wording of any UN sanctions as a ticket to go marauding around the globe... then the UN has time to waste picking fault of one of the more civilised member nations. If the rest of the world is so perfect that this is most serious issue on agenda, then great, but sadly it is far from it. Once child welfare has been solved in most of Africa, Middle East, China, N Korea, certain caste families in India etc. then I will bother reading just what the UN thinks is wrong.
20:27 October 8, 2011 by johan rebel
Oh boy! Perhaps this fantastic UN committee should concentrate on the 100+ where kids are treated a lot worse than in Sweden.

Oh, wait a second, said committee is staffed by unaccountable bureacrats, the majority of whom hail from the same 100+ countires, and who probably spank their own kids every single day.
23:25 October 8, 2011 by motti

Yes mate, I do understand the meaning of race discrimination. It is very difficult today in Europe apparently to operate a successful system of discrimination when certain ethnic communities insist on their own laws.

In Britain today, multiple wives appear to be accepted within the Moslem community, even though it is against the law. Many within the Pakistani community suffer certain medical problems becuase of cousins marrying within the same family over again.

My main point though is this. I am all for continuous improvement in living, social standards. However, for any UN organisation to wrong western countries on "unlawful behaviour" is absolutely ridiculous. Especially those very countries who control the UN are so primitive and think human rights is only a game to play against the west. Those same countries have no basic rights as we have now seen with the Islamic spring. Sadly most if not all western charities such as save the children, oxfam, unwra, red cross etc are fearful for their own jobs, in addition to their well being in these 3rd world countries.

That is my point. Do you disagree?
02:16 October 9, 2011 by johnoleson
I agree motti. Only 45% of UN members are democracies. How can the non democracies represent anything but the whims of the dictators in charge. There is no moral code in these nations when it comes to a UN vote, only what is politically expedient. Up is down and down is up and silly is any nation that takes the UN's bashing seriously.
05:12 October 9, 2011 by lovedealer76

It's irrelevant to mention the muslim inter marriage in UK cause that's not the point on this article,i got family in england and i can understand where you diverting to but let's stick with the article shall we?

Well i'll partially agree with you on the fact that there are always room for improvement but we should accept the fact that these accusations are if i'm not mistaken the fouth by the UN on sweden,which definately there must be something the've constanly noticing from sweden e.g "One major difference would be a clear protection against discrimination, that all children in Sweden would have the same rights by law, whether they lack documents, are in hiding, asylum-seekers or Swedish citizens. Today children are divided into groups which have different rights. This is something which is not allowed according to the children's rights convention."

Hey! and please don't get me wrong,i do appreciate the sweden social standards when putting it on the international platform, just a tiny doom and gloom which can always be improve.
05:57 October 9, 2011 by johnoleson
Really what this is about is that Sweden has not made the "children's rights convention" as Swedish law the way UN demands it. Sweden IS treating her children well which simply isn't true in the majority of the non democratic nations pushing for this. Is the word hypocrite an understatement? As Sweden complies with the more and more of the UN demands, she increasingly shares her sovereignty with the falsehood of those who hate her.
07:02 October 9, 2011 by Not Dumb
For those uninitiated with the comment section here, in my opinion there are essentially what seem a cadre of those that use it to promote and protect far-right views, including white supremacy, Islamophobia, and xenophobia. However, the 'civil' manner in which this is done makes it, IMHO, truly insidious.

I would imagine many of these individuals originate with a far-right party we have in the Parliament, the Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-nazi roots.

As regards the UN criticism, it was aimed at the manner in which refugee children are treated, and that is a genuine problem here. The larger problem is the manner in which Sweden has been swinging increasingly towards the right, with any of foreign origin -- children or adults, refugees or otherwise -- facing increasing discrimination because of this.

That is the backdrop against which this article comes.

Perhaps worst of all, as the article does indicate, the Government has simply been turning a 'blind eye' towards such issues, and has "chosen to completely ignore" any criticism. But again, this seems only one more aspect of the changes in what I had once thought a country that was closest place on earth to heaven...but, things change.
10:48 October 9, 2011 by anonymous4
There is always a motive for an organization like the UN to try to get control. That is either money or power. Look at the list of countries that belong to the UN. We do not want our children raised and to be treated like every child from each country in the UN. Sweden is Sweden. Let it stay as it is.
10:57 October 9, 2011 by HYBRED
@Not Dumb

Actually the government is more moderate to left leaning. The SD's are a very small percentage.

The UN has a less than credible track record when it comes to doing anything. So when they have an opinion about anything it is suspect. And most any country doesn't like being criticize by them.

While not just in Sweden, but the whole of Western Europe there has been a large intake of refugee's/immigrants. Many of these come from half way around the world. No place closer to they're own origin would take them is why they,(refugee's) are here. But whether a refugee or immigrant they are expected to blend into society here, the same as I would if I went to their native origin. To much to ask? But I think the biggest objection here is that the Swedish society is being made to bend to much to cater to the immigrants/refugee's. I thought the definition of a refugee was seeking refuge from something bad in your home country.In which case they should be ever thankful that a peace loving country would give them shelter. But I think that it is perceived here that the want to bring their old lifestyle with them.

Sweden is a place where people use common sense to function in everyday life, and not have government dictate they're every move. I guess thats hard for some immigrants to adjust to.
11:39 October 9, 2011 by anonymous4
When any country or organization gains control of the children, control is gained of the entire country. Leave Sweden Alone!
12:28 October 9, 2011 by hjoian
@HYBRED "Sweden is a place where people use common sense to function in everyday life, and not have government dictate they're every move. I guess thats hard for some immigrants to adjust to"

Thats a joke right?
12:34 October 9, 2011 by OUIJA
UN bashes Swedish feminist's rights. Sweden is not doing enough on this line. Sweden, oh, Sweden!
14:19 October 9, 2011 by cogito
The U.N. bashes? The U.N? That huge collection of cuthroats, thugs corruptocrats, genocidal maniancs and dirtbag crooks bashes Sweden?
15:34 October 9, 2011 by k2kats
The most effective defense against this type of criticism is fixing the problem, not bashing the bearers of bad news.
16:24 October 9, 2011 by johnoleson
Not if the criticism is unfounded. Look to the source. Look at the UN's credibility. How many U.N. General Assembly resolutions have condemned any Arab country? 4. How many U.N. General Assembly resolutions have condemned Israel? 322. Who does the UN truly represent? I'll give you a hint. Having the UN vote on anything is like two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
18:11 October 9, 2011 by motti
I can't comment on what is happening in Sweden as I don't live there, I can comment on what goes on in Britain. Here it is on a mch larger scale. My point again was that because of PC, many people here feel uneasy to speak out and criticise where criticism is needed because they are then tarred with the racist brush.

It is very difficult for any European country to try and improve many economic immigrants (very few are really refugees) life style. Many after 20 years here still speak no English and require translators in court etc. They are very often unemployed, many are on benefits, and will not giveup their old ways in order to comply with British law or traditions.. Jews,Chinese and other Asians, Hindus and Sikhs have no problem here in settling and being in full employment. Others will even hide their children, and too often we have so called honour killings.

Again, I must say that the UN is a totally discredited organisation and quite honestly, it only deals with "traditional" problems. Because of this, real problems in the world are not even discussed which is why there is still real misery in the world.

Assad has ordered the killing of a top Syrian Kurd, these people in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey are not Arab and stgill do not have their homeland. Why?/ Because Russia, USa still want to not upset Turkey and many Arab countries. So in order to look good, countries like Syria, Libya, Egypt, Iran, and othere non democracies just violate the principles and attack mainly Israel, then America and any other western country. Just to take the heat off them and Europe takes it's eyes off the ball.

I feel sure in Sweden as in other ero countries, if real humanity problems exist, they would have been addressed and not hidden. Surely Sweden has an active opposition within the news media, doesn't it?
21:40 October 9, 2011 by OUIJA
Do you want to discuss childrens rights?

"Poverty hits children hardest. While a severe lack of goods and services hurts every human, it is most threatening to children's rights: survival, health and nutrition, education, participation, and protection from harm and exploitation. It creates an environment that is damaging to children's development in every way - mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

"One than 1 billion children are severely deprived of at least one of the essential goods and services they require to survive, grow and develop. Some regions of the world have more dire situations than others, but even within one country there can be broad disparities - between city and rural children, for example, or between boys and girls. An influx or tourism in one area may improve a country's poverty statistics overall, while the majority remains poor and disenfranchised."

Go to

00:39 October 10, 2011 by Not Dumb

Thank you for helping to demonstrate (with your comment #15) a bit of what I meant with my comment (#13), for everything that any of us say is better understood with an example. I'll add that I find your 'embrace' of multiculturalism all too typical of much of the problem here, your downplay of the Sweden Democrat's influence predictable.

End of conversation -- punkt slut.
09:15 October 10, 2011 by HYBRED
@Not Dumb

My "embrace" of multiculturalism a problem? I am a immigrant from/with a different culture. But when you go into a different culture and start forcing your views on people and commanding more than your share of respect, there is a problem. Respect is something you earn, it's not handed out with your visa.

Although many Swedes share some SD ideals, The SD's support is in a downward trend according to the latest polls I have seen, that speaks for itself.

Punkt slut to you, too.
09:41 October 10, 2011 by OUIJA
What are our responsibilities to children? How are governments worldwide protecting and ensuring their well-being? And how are they failing?

In A World for Children, 24 children across the globe report for BBC World Service and tell us about their rights.

23:14 October 10, 2011 by shahislam
Nothing will ever be perfect but 'Perfection' is in the acts of balancing (50%'s of opposing forces) and that's how everything about our humanly existence is programmed.

To be honest, I assume, Obama will exactly understand what I am trying to say because he surely knows that dishonesty always to be remained in the fabric of politics and the norm was up until now: there won't be enough honest supporters behind a honest leader, therefore, negatively powerful dishonest leader-ships will prevail.

A mistakenly believed word: "Unbold" may have the cosmic-power to modify the vulnerable by default: 'belief-system inside each human brain', therefore change the world (Each human, actually can see and feel own existence individually and the "Wealth and power greedy thugs have always been manipulating this secret and abused it and so far got away unchallenged after wrecklessy doing whatever whimsical evil things they had on their dumb or blind belief system") in a peaceful and non-violent way.

(Ridiculously, I won't talk about universal topics now.) But I feel a strong desire in me to say: 'Now, there is a short lasting opportunity to change the future course of global politics that is to be history of American recent Glory by as early as 2017'.

I just know that it won't be a lucky thing should we miss this chance and let the 'disguised new generation of old thugs' take control of world's trades and economy from as far as Dubai, India, China etc.!

For a better peaceful world, a fair and totally honest declaration of Amnesty will do the magic right now in regard to Assad, then only few dozens of thugs under veil: Emirs, Sheikhs and their Western business partners will take advantage of a new trend of 'non-violent changing process in 'Greed-money oriented global leader-ships', in a positive chain reaction.

Why not we unanimously elect one 'Not or less greedy' guy to accomplish the job of positive-global-change and encourage him to selflessly take the pain of selflessly leading the world for a noble cause and to show the World once again the unique humanitarian power of Great North-America. God created resources on Earth: e.g. Oil-Dollars, like billions of Gaddafi or Emirs or Kings of Middle East can be used for establishing one benevolent dictatorial type Authority (Doing its activities in a "No Secret" and transparently visible digital methods having random access to and from each member of the Global Public.) of impartial UN power to supervise on corporate capitalism in control of 'less tax-paying a small group of businessmen' and balance the world wide democracy. New UN (A few more Wise guys or at least "Some like me in the Think-tank") can only ensure 'Tax collection from each rich guy on Earth, regardless of the color of blood: Red or blue (?), including the so called spiritual leaders, hereditary owners of natural resources .....
03:25 October 11, 2011 by Not Dumb

In your comment #15 you said...

- "While not just in Sweden, but the whole of Western Europe there has been a large intake of refugee's/immigrants. Many of these come from half way around the world."

"Many of these"...is a phrase that removes one from those one is describing, so I do find it curious that in comment #25 you state "I am a immigrant from/with a different culture." Of course, I've been long told of how some immigrants try to be more Swedish than Swedes, and the SD do describe themselves as 'Nationalists', and do even claim to have some members of foreign origins. But, it wouldn't suprise me if you were really a native born Swede 'spoofing' people either.

Oh, and incidentally, the SD is at almost the same level they were at election time, according to a September poll... http://www.thelocal.se/36444/20110930/

However, while your platitudes attacking immigrants are 'touching', as it says on one of the headlines that The Local posted: "The Sweden Democrats have much to gain by playing the martyr".

Forgive me, but I have little desire to debate with either the SD or its sympathizers -- definitely the end of conversation...punkt slut.
08:34 October 11, 2011 by HYBRED
@Not Dumb

A "native born Swede" and SD sympathizer ? Wrong on both thoughts.

However you appear to be an American in USA sitting back and taking shots at people in a country you have most likely never been to, and have no clue what the situation is.

The burden is more on the immigrant to merge into society, and be productive, than it is for they're new home to adjust to them. But people like you think everything should be handed to them on a silver platter and give them VIP treatment. Then when it doesn't happen you label them as racists and attacking immigrants.

So touch that platitude.
17:11 October 11, 2011 by johnoleson
@Hybred@Not Dumb

Please allow me to interject. Mr. Dumb and I go back a ways and he does indeed live in Sweden. He emigrated from America to Sweden to escape a system of divided politics to live in a socialistic paradise which he is dismally dissatisfied with because of the people. He is a strong supporter of diversity as long as it's not Swedes and their thoughts are congruent to his own. He believes in tolerance and has a hard time tolerating those he considers intolerant. If you cross him he will torment you with long paragraphs that will leave you numb and then hit you hard with the stunning words "punkt slut".
02:26 October 12, 2011 by Not Dumb
For those uninitiated with the comment section here, in my opinion there are essentially what seem a cadre of individuals that use it to promote and protect far-right views, including xenophobia, Islamophobia, and white supremacy. However, the 'civil' manner in which this is done makes it, IMHO, truly insidious.

I would imagine many of these individuals (though there is speculation that multiple 'pen names' belong to just one person) originate with a far-right party we have in the Parliament, the Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-nazi roots. And sadly, they do write their propaganda well...
09:19 October 12, 2011 by HYBRED
@Not Dumb

In post #28 you cited a poll. In this poll the SD's had 5.1% support from those surveyed. So obviously 94.9% do not support the SD's.

And if someone doesn't share your view's you are quick to label them phobic racists,neonazi's, and spreading propaganda. Plus bombing them with your dry left handed insults.

Being a racists involves hate. In this world you can like someone without loving them. But you can also dislike someone without hating them.
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