Swedish youth centre organised ‘fight clubs’

Swedish youth centre organised ‘fight clubs’
The youths depicted in the picture above have no connection to the youth centre case. Photo: Dan Hansson/ SCANPIX file picture
The Swedish chapter of Save the Children has reported a Stockholm youth centre to the police after a video emerged, suggesting staff there were organising “fight clubs” for kids.

“My stomach turned by what I saw,” Elisabeth Dahlin, the head of Save the Children in Sweden, told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.

“We have received information that it’s violent at the youth centre. The staff disciplines the children by using violence and also organise fights in between them [the children],” she said.

The youth centre in Rinkeby, in the outskirts of Stockholm, organised boxing matches, but according to the video, the youths were seen fighting each other without wearing mouthguards or any other kind of safety gear.

The newspaper, which had also viewed the video, said the staff surveilling the matches encouraged the violence.

Staff at the youth centre deny that they have used any violence against the children who go there.

A female parent told the newspaper that she was worried every time her children go to the centre.

“It’s not a safe place. I’m worried every time my kids go there and have therefore tried to ban them from going, but they fall for the peer pressure,” she said, wishing to stay anonymous for the safety of her children.

“As a parent I feel totally powerless. The youth centre should be closed down.”

City officials said the case would be investigated both internally and externally. Since the video emerged, the centre has suspended the boxing activity.