• Sweden's news in English

'Love immigrants' need more support adjusting to life in Sweden

18 Jul 2012, 15:00

Published: 18 Jul 2012 15:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

People flee or migrate to Sweden to seek protection, work or love.

Whatever the reason, it's important that they can support themselves and feel like they are part of society as quickly as possible.

In recent decades, integration hasn't worked well, which is why sweeping reforms are underway. The government is now focusing specifically on how to improve the ways immigrant women make their entry into Swedish society.

A part of this work is to ensure that non-European relatives who also migrate to Sweden can participate in society orientation programmes.

Far too many women who have immigrated to Sweden have had difficulty getting a job, and hence lack the control over their daily lives that a salary brings. Both women who come here as refugees, as well as women who have immigrated to our country to start a family with Swedish men find it difficult to find their place in the new society.

One group that has run into difficulties and attracted attention recently consists of so-called "love immigrants" who move to Sweden to be with their partners.

When these women don't get jobs, they become totally dependent on the man's financial support and network of contacts. In the worst cases, their daily life can be reduced to one of violence and isolation.

Thousands of foreign women have been forced to seek protection from violence after coming to Sweden to marry a Swedish man. Thousands of children are also affected, as shown by an inquiry presented recently in Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) by Värmland County Governor and Liberal Party politician Eva Eriksson.

It's shameful that women who immigrate to one of the world's most equality-conscious countries find themselves caught up in a daily life marked by violence and oppression. The inquiry proposes a series of measures. Not least, it is about preventing unscrupulous men from systematically and repeatedly bringing women here and using them for a short period of time. The government is currently analyzing the proposals and will send them out for comment shortly.

However, we already present a first step, a step in the right direction: allowing non-European family members of immigrants who have already come to Sweden - such as love immigrants - to participate in society orientation classes.

The proposal is estimated to cost around 40 million kronor ($5.7 million).

Today, society orientation classes offered to refugees, those in need of protection, and their relatives.

The aim is to provide newcomers with knowledge about and an understanding of Swedish society. It is a tool for new arrivals to more easily get around in the new country. Society orientation is about the values which are fundamental in Swedish society - human rights, democracy and equality.

The classes are about the rights and obligations you have as an individual in Sweden. They also provide knowledge about how Swedish society is organized and the practicalities of everyday life.

Today, society orientation programmes aren't offered to immigrating relatives of someone who already lives in Sweden. But when it comes to relatives immigrating to Sweden from countries outside Europe, there are many signs indicating a great need for social orientation.

One thing many non-European immigrating relatives have in common is that their social networks are often completely dependent on the networks of those to whom they move to Sweden to be with.

Previously, it was judged that these social networks would be sufficient to help the new arrivals integrate into Swedish society.

But employment rates tell a different story. Too many of the women who have immigrated to a man in Sweden have a hard time getting a job. Therefore, all non-Europeans immigrant relatives who come to Sweden will be offered society orientation classes in order to facilitate their entry into the job market and into Swedish society.

We need to do more to ensure that those who immigrate to our country have a chance to find work and become a part of Swedish society.

Those who immigrate need to learn what Swedish gender equality means and where they can turn for help.

Story continues below…

Relatives who immigrate to Sweden also need to network here to avoid the risk of becoming isolated.

By also offering society orientation to them, we can take a first step toward giving them a better start and more opportunities in their new country.

Nyamko Sabuni

Minister for Gender Equality

Erik Ullenhag

Minister for Integration

This article was first published on in Swedish in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

00:38 July 19, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Nothing wrong with informing individual love immigrants of their rights, but, Mrs Sabuni and Mr Ullenlag, what, if anything, have you done to alleviate the suffering of women and their daughters within entire families who emigrate to Sweden, and who are then subject to terrorism and death threats by the father and older brother(s) for perceived 'misbehaviour' of any kind?

Why not establish clear and effective legal procedures whereby abused or threated women can file for the deportation of their horrific husbands and older brothers, rather than live in terror for the rest of their days?

These women and their daughters are no less deserving of information campaigns, and more importantly of strong new laws to enforce their protection. Such laws could also serve to break a vicious cycle, by erradicating the importation of forms of hatred and abuse against women that could otherwise persist for generations.
11:59 July 19, 2012 by Borilla
@Reason abd (sic) Realism

Bravo! Why does one have to cut off their wife's lips and eat them before the public demands they be punished? Whether here with families or "for love" women have the right to a safe and secure life. While we are at it let's include the Swedes who do the same thing whether they call it "honor" or something else.
01:30 July 20, 2012 by jomamas
Integration will never work well - unless you give up your identity entirely.

In Canada - we have good integration. Why? Because we have nothing to integrate into. We gave up our culture - now we have shopping malls and Starbuck everywhere.

Sweden - I can assure you that allowing large numbers of immigrants will createe vast problems and eventually wipe out Swedish culture.

Your immigration policy is genocide.

I'm not saying anything against Immigrants, also - all cultures and people are equal as far as I am concerned - however - it is very difficult for people from strong cultures to get along. The only place they do is in culturally neutral - secular environments.

Sweden will be Canada/America within 2 generations, Swedes will only be in retirement homes.

If you want to help people - consider investing in places like Somalia so they don't feel the need to flee their culture.
06:22 July 20, 2012 by Grokh
@Jomamas Integration works well if the immigrants are willing, i integrated myself perfectly fine when i moved to portugal, and the same when i moved to sweden. (im brazilian)

and i see most latin americans as well as europeans integrating just fine in sweden. Even asians.

Now people from arabic background thats a whole different ball game, specially those from remote areas.
09:56 July 20, 2012 by Roffe
@ Grokh nody likes you either.. go home. :P
11:08 July 20, 2012 by Dodgerman
I totally agree that more needs to be done for female immigrants and safer living environments. What makes you think it's any easier for men? Males were completely left out of that report. I am an Australian male who immigrated to Sweden because of love. I am 25yrs old, 6foot 2 inches, 85kg physically fit and hold a University degree. I have been in Sweden for 9 months and can't even get a job at MAX burger! This is just rediculous, I don't even get called in for an interview and have resorted to 'black money' work, putting my health and future at risk. Your Arbetsformedligen is an absolute joke!
00:24 July 21, 2012 by spanca
Well İts right decision to give a chance to learn about the life and culture of spociety which they are likely to emnrace .Cultural assmilation can only be achieved when immigrants are totally imerged in the new society .

I really appreciate this wise step which will help lot to let the new migrant to to usefulfor the society anfd have good life for themselves .
01:01 July 21, 2012 by Stuart Parsons
Ladies and gentlemen of Sweden, our great British leader David Cameron has suggested that we Britons, "integrate more with the Muslim way of life and not the other way round".

Following his recommendation, all Swedes should therefore now pray to a non-existent god five times a day, observe Ramnadan, go on the great Haj to Mecca, believe in the existence of angels and evil jinn, beat your wives, marry prepubescent girls, flog fortnicators and drunks, cut off the hands and feet of thieves and stone to death adulterers. Oh, and don't forget to kill homosexuals and apostates.

Go to it and enjoy your new enlightened lives.
04:04 July 21, 2012 by jomamas
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:54 July 21, 2012 by shinnam
Help all immigrants by putting more information on the immigration web page! Or better yet, when one get a visa to come to Sweden, give them a the information they need. There is nothing about SFI, how to get a bank account, an ID card, degree certification , regestering with arbetsförmedlingen, housing, leagal rights... etc. One is left to depend on one's Swedish partner for information, and that partner has not been an immigrant, so s/he doens't know the laws for an immigrant either.

Yes, immigrants need to make the effort to intergrate, but there are some simple things that would help.
15:05 July 21, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Migationsverket and SFI cater only to the unemployed . There should be SFI-tv on tv every night and on weekends, and early every morning, so that people could improve their Swedish AND go to work the same day. No need for special effects or expensive productions, just put something on that is clear and instructional.

The same thing with Migrationsverket and tons of other departments. They have god awful visiting hours, something like 9am to noon some weekdays, and then super long lineups, which forces working people to WASTE half of a day to do any transaction whatsoever at these offices. The offices should open at 8am, and on some days until 9pm, so at least you would have some chance to get something done there, and still report to work for a full day.
10:12 July 22, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
How can a black immigrant woman in Sweden become a Moderate politician ? Defies all logic ......bit like a Jew becoming a Nazi....
10:50 July 24, 2012 by michael ladochkin
Nyamko Sabuni --......IS IT SWEDEN ??......
23:10 July 24, 2012 by theibmsstate
You know in sweden ,swedish people dont want to integrate with no other culture. i dont think there is something special in sweden to live.no jobs, living standard is very low.i am doing job in KSA with free accommodation,free food, free car and petrol many other facilities as KSA is Arab country.my salary is 3 times more than if some1 is doing job and getting salary for one month. my 1 month=3months salary is sweden. in KSA water is expansive then petrol.

so think about germany, france, USA, Australia, UAE.good industry good money good facilities.in sweden people cannt get this.i just came to sweden for few months for some course, i saw that time that their own people were doing cleaning and removing cigrete from the roads.so how immigrants can expect the jobs.
15:09 July 25, 2012 by refugee
this proposal is not fair.. it sides even more to leadies ..What about forigen born males who are being treated badly by their wifes... we do not expect to pay the price what our fathers did against the women ... "think outside the box" Dear Nyamko Sabuni ..you are promoting femalizim
05:42 July 26, 2012 by TheWatchman
@Stuart Parsons

I heard from a Brit that he was making things better for ethnic British, I guess he was wrong, or trying to convince me how great Britain is. That's disgusting, even if I don't support your view that G-d isn't real. It is your right to say it, but won't be unless action is taken soon.
20:45 July 26, 2012 by Cheks
Why is everything in Sweden about women? There was never a place in this report where they talked about 'men' who immigrate to Sweden for love or something else. Every report written by this woman concerning integration is all about women. I am beginning to think she is a core feminist, and that is a flaw in a person occupying such a sensitive and delicate position. For your information Ms. Nyamko, very many Swedish women travel far to other countries to find love and bring them home. Most of them end up being badly treated, and threatened with deportation should they decide to take their problems to the police. Its high time you changed your way of thinking young lady.
20:51 July 26, 2012 by JulieLou40
I cannot understand why they are only talking about giving these classes to non-Europeans. I am British, and could do with a hand aswell!!
14:26 July 27, 2012 by hjoian
Absolute waste of money......they would be better off giving everyone who is a non swede a piece of paper at the border when they enter stating:

Swedes do not like foreigners

Do not expect to make any Swedish friends

Do not expect to get treated equally

Do not expect any goverment office to follow correct rules

Enjoy your stay!

This is not so much an immigrant problem, this is more of a SWEDE mentality problem with non-Swedes. But they refuse to admit the problem exists! This is also directed at the benefit of women,and it may be an issue that they seem more vunerable,but its hardly equal rights either! I dont take pleasure in knocking Sweden, there are worse places, but its not perfect either.
15:54 July 27, 2012 by javamann
Water under the bridge? I'm afraid so.

I always thought that his death was suspicious.

A current issue that should be considered:

Multiculturalism in Europe: Who is Behind It? by David Duke

On YouTube.
08:08 July 28, 2012 by DoesNotMatter
@theibmsstate, you comment's making me laugh so hard

How dare you comparing Sweden with KSA?? Ok, I've heard lots of migrants whining about unequality in Sweden which I have no comment about this. But it's thousand times WORSE in Arab countries!

I'm now living in an arabic country--even have more freedom than people who live in KSA. It sucks still !! You mentioned about the salary and living standard but I'm sure you forgot to include human right, safety and security. You will never feel safe while walking on the street here. Everything is not sustainable at all

I've studied in Sweden for few years and been now working in an Arab country for some years. So I have pretty clear picture about these 2 diffrent circumstances

I'm not defending anything for Sweden, it's not my country. But if you never live in Sweden long enough, you shouldn't judge the country and people there
14:22 July 28, 2012 by Achilles7
Re. Message no.3

You hit the nail on the head - my thoughts exactly.
00:35 July 29, 2012 by esvahnt
it seems that sweden is being ruled from 5 or 10.000 kmts at the midle east or down from africa

we are muppets

i have heard some people commenting in the streets that sweden is becoming a kind of planets of the apes

well that may sound a bit extreme but no doubt that the swedish race is changing day by day ,year by year

now being swedish is not sinonim of a white person also can be a non white
07:55 August 1, 2012 by BiggieSmalls
#23 according to you, to be swede you have to be white mmhh wonder what shade of white you talking about. Most of what you call swedes are or were immigrants at one time and not forgetting history they also have immigrated to other countries both in Europe and America.

Don't put labels on all Swedes I have been a victim of racist remarks but I don't say all Swedes are racists. Truthfully it is difficult to get a job but not impossible all of you know of immigrants who got better jobs that cleaning jobs may not be enough but they are there...
23:07 September 11, 2012 by B.olesen
One of the best ideas they've come up with yet. GOOD IDEA.

@Biggie Smalls - forget YOU! What do you mean ALL Swedes are or were immigrants at one time, what are you TALKING ABOUT? There is plenty of scientific evidence showing that Nordic people have lived in this area for THOUSANDS of years - 10,000 years. Are you talking about immigrants from 10,000 years ago? REALLY? YOU ARE RIDICULOUS. Let me ask you - do you complain that South African Zulus are not indigenous to that area and tell them they should be more accepting of whites? Doubtful, because the double standard hypocrisy reeks from here.

I'm not even Swedish and I am SICK of non-indigenous peoples making outrageously ignorant and WRONG and BIASED claims against the Swedish people.

Do you AND ALL YOU OTHER SWEDE HATERS who suck off Swedish society - HONESTLY believe that your angry hatred of Swedes is 'the way to go' towards enforcing some weird belief that you have the right to move here, but Europeans don't have the right to go live in Africa? Disparaging, put-down, totally false statements about their 'origins' - basically telling them this is NOT and never was THEIR LAND - you are the same people who want whites out of Africa. You make me sick. I came from the U.S. I AM A LOVE IMMIGRANT, and what I see here and force fed by your INCREDIBLY BIASED CENSORED MEDIA and GOVERNMENT including half truths, blatant lies, propaganda like garbage - all created to FORCE Swedish people to accept something they might not like AND THEY ARE PAYING FOR with the highest taxes maybe on EARTH.

I am sorry but to be A SWEDE will always mean something to REAL SWEDES just as being AFRICAN or ZULU will always mean something to blacks living in Africa - you know, the ones who tell whites whose family has been living there for 400 years that they don't belong in Africa and they aren't Africans and so they are denied welfare, jobs, pensions and police protection and are being violently murdered every day? THOSE people. But I have to listen to immigrants WHINE while they live in free housing, free food, medical, education EVERYTHING anybody could ever need or want - because 'white people are mean'? You people are INSANE.

are not human, but merely something to sexually assault and then laugh at. AWESOME, particularly since Sweden is such an 'equal rights and we care about women' country - NOT.

I am also extremely OUTRAGED at the constant bombardment of articles about evil cruel Swedes and poor poor Somalians and someone was MEAN to them. IS THAT THEIR BIG COMPLAINT? Somebody was rude? Somebody doesn't LIKE THEM? In my opinion it beats GETTING SHOT, forced to join Al Shebaab, starving to death or living under a pile of sticks and some plastic bags. I can't believe the audacity of the complaints and ingratitude of immigrants pulled from the bowels of 'heck' to live in virtual paradise, who still complain about everything.
Today's headlines
Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Swedish terror suspect ‘planned airport attack’
Swedish terror suspect Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Swedish national Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available