4.8 Current debates and reforms
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New measures against racism, similar forms of hostility and hate crime
In March 2021, the Government adopted several measures against racism, similar forms of hostility and hate crime. Several of the measures are being carried out within the context of the national plan against racism, similar forms of hostility and hate crime, which the Government adopted in 2016. The plan takes an integrated approach and comprises strategies and measures to prevent and combat racism and hate crime through improved coordination and monitoring, more education and research, increased support to and deepened dialogue with civil society, strengthened preventive measures online and a more active justice system.
Below are examples of measures:
- The Living History Forum (Forum för levande historia) is responsible for coordination and follow-up of the work on the plan against racism, similar forms of hostility and hate crime and for presenting a comprehensive report to the Government annually.
- The Government has instructed the Ombudsman for Children in Sweden (Barnombudsmannen) to produce and compile knowledge about children’s and young people’s vulnerability to racism, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- The Stockholm County Administrative Board (Stockholms länsstyrelse) has been tasked with increasing knowledge about how Roma children and young people are subjected to antigypsyism in the present day.
- The Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (MUCF) has been tasked with implementing measures for an open and inclusive environment in schools for young LGBTIQ people.
Assignment on social initiatives in socially vulnerable areas
In December 2020, The Government instructed the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to distribute funds for social initiatives for children and young people in socially vulnerable areas. The funds are intended to go to initiatives that aim to reduce the risk of children and young people being drawn into or otherwise affected by crime. These may be initiatives that complement and strengthen activities that the municipalities already carry out within the framework of crime prevention (eg investing in more field workers in the evenings and weekends, including increased accessibility in social services' activities), as well as various forms of structured collaboration between school, social services and the police. In total, the investment amounts to SEK 250 000 000 ( about 25 000 000 euro) for 2021 and the government estimates SEK 250 000 000 annually for 2022–2023.
The effort is part of the government's broader work to reduce and counteract socio-economic segregation. The conditions for children and young people to grow up in areas with socio-economic challenges must therefore be improved, such as the right of children and young people to grow up in a safe and stable environment. In order to achieve a positive development in vulnerable areas, measures need to be taken to develop and structure collaboration between actors in the local community, such as social services, the police and schools. Other relevant actors are, for example, civil society, health care and municipal housing companies. Parents and other close relatives are also important to include in the collaboration. Part of the stimulus funds is therefore intended to promote a structured collaboration between social services, schools and the police at the individual level around children and young people who have ended up in or are at risk of ending up in a criminal lifestyle. Social intervention groups are one such form of local collaboration, as are school-social services-police-leisure and school social teams.