The Council of Europe reviews how Sweden lives up to the rights of national minorities – read our alternative report 

The Sámi flag
Photo: Saami flag, Tromsø Norway / anjči (wikimedia) / CC BY 2.0

On 8–9 March, the Council of Europe reviews how Sweden complies with  the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Prior to the review, Civil Rights Defenders has submitted an alternative report to the Council of Europe, in which we highlight Sweden’s lack of compliance with indigenous rights. The report also discuss the situation for vulnerable EU citizens belonging to the Roma minority. In the report, we list a number of recommendations and suggestions for action. 

Why does Civil Rights Defenders send an alternative report to the Council of Europe? 

We want to provide information to the Council of Europe about human rights violations in Sweden regarding Sámi rights and rights for vulnerable EU citizens belonging to the Roma minority. 

The report contains several testimonies from Sámi representatives and the report has been signed by 13 Sámi actors. 

What shortcomings has Civil Rights Defenders identified? 

In the alternative report, we highlight a number of shortcomings regarding the protection of Sámi rights, including issues linked to land exploitation such as logging, mines and wind turbines and the limited ability to influence such exploitation on traditional Sámi lands. We also give our view of the statutory consultation process (Konsultationsordningen) that is intended to guarantee the Sámi people influence over decisions that affect them. 

The report also highlight the rights of vulnerable EU citizens belonging to the Roma minority and call on the state to have an inclusive view of who is considered part of the Roma national minority. 

What does Civil Rights Defenders want the Council of Europe to do? 

The Council of Europe will visit Sweden in early March to meet with the government and civil society, including Civil Rights Defenders. 

In addition to civil society, the government has submitted a report to the Council of Europe to express its view on the human rights situation in the areas now reviewed. Based on these meetings, the government’s report and civil society’s alternative reports, the Council of Europe will compile recommendations and proposals for measures to Sweden. 

Civil Rights Defenders hopes that the Council of Europe take into account the human rights violations highlighted in our alternative report and make recommendations to the Government on how the rights should be strengthened. 

Read the report 

Click here to read Civil Rights Defender’s alternative report.  

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