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Stockholm cafe's kid ban has parents frothing

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Stockholm cafe's kid ban has parents frothing
18:03 CET+01:00
A Stockholm coffee shop has banned children from its premises and sparked an uproar among the capital's caffeine-loving parents.

"People have to understand that we can't continue like this," Josef Shamon, a spokesperson for Nelly's café, told the neighbourhood newspaper Vårt Kungsholmen.

"A colleague of mine even burned his hand with hot coffee when he tried to duck away from a running child."

Fed up with out-of-control toddlers running wild in his café, management at Nelly's put up a sign last week warning parents their youngsters weren't welcome.

"For everyone's enjoyment, children are prohibited in this establishment," the sign read.

His would-be customers have not taken the ban lightly, although his café is not the first to ban pram-wielding parents who buy one beverage, sip away for hours and let their children run amok.

ALSO READ THE OP-ED: "Why I left the Swedish toddler ghetto for Berlin"

A bakery in the southern suburb of Årsta did the same last year, also annoying parents who felt their rights had been infringed upon.

Shamon, meanwhile, has asked to come in for a meeting with Sweden's Discrimination Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen, DO).

Per Holfve, lawyer at the state-run agency, said the ban on children under the age of seven could constitute discrimination, especially since the government made the laws against age discrimination tougher on January 1st, 2013.

"It's not sufficient justification to say that the children disturb the customers," Holfve told Vårt Kungsholmen.

"If they're behaving abominably, the staff should tell the parents."

Nelly's will not, however, let the issue lie.

"We need a debate about this issue, and we are not going to change our minds," said Shamon.

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