Sweden

In 1979, Sweden was the first country to prohibit corporal punishment against children. Today, Sweden remains a leader in the child protection space, becoming one of the first pathfinding countries in 2016. In 2018, Sweden hosted End Violence's first Solutions Summit, which showcased solutions of what's working to end violence against children across the world.

1979

Sweden is the first country to prohibit all corporal punishment of children in amendments to the Children and Parents Code.

2015

In June, the government tasks Linköping University with gathering knowledge about violence against children and disseminating it, resulting in the establishment of the Barnafrid National Knowledge Center.

2016

In June, the government adopts an updated action plan for 2016–2018, ‘About What Must Not Happen’, to protect children from human trafficking, exploitation and sexual abuse. One month later, Sweden becomes a pathfinding country, making a formal, public commitment to comprehensive action to end all forms of violence against children.

2017

A multi-stakeholder coordination platform to end violence against children is established with government authorities, non-governmental organizations, academia, the private sector and faith-based communities.

2018

Sweden co-hosts the first End Violence Solutions Summit.

The Child Welfare Delegation and the multi-stakeholder coordination platform to end violence against children serve as structures for the consultation, collaboration, coordination and monitoring of key government measures to end violence against children in all settings. The government has commissioned various agencies to strengthen research and knowledge sharing on violence against children to inform policy and programming, for example, research on children’s experiences and parents’ attitudes towards corporal punishment, children’s exposure to sexual exploitation on the internet, children with disabilities’ risk of exposure to violence, and a knowledge center for issues concerning unaccompanied children.

Various agencies and authorities, such as the Linköping University (the national knowledge centre on violence against children), the Children’s Welfare Foundation, the Ombudsman for Children and the National Board of Health and Welfare, conduct research and share knowledge on the issue of violence against children.

In 2016, the government granted funding to the Children’s Welfare Foundation to carry out the Violence Against Children 2016 Swedish National Survey, deepening its understanding of children’s experiences of corporal punishment, sexual violence, psychological violence, neglect, domestic violence and bullying.

Sweden has implemented several laws and policies that correlate to certain INSPIRE strategies. The National Board of Health and Welfare and the Ombudsman for Children have launched the Koll på soc website to increase children’s knowledge about where to seek help and support, including materials on social services.

There have been several recent initiatives to build the capacity of key professionals and sectors, including social workers, health care and the judicial system. The government has also appointed a national coordinator to improve support services for children and young people, working in coordination with municipalities. In addition, the government has amended the Systems of Qualifications in an appendix to the Higher Education Ordinance to include knowledge of men's violence against women and domestic violence as a qualitative target for certain degrees. The study programmes concerned are identified as leading to professions in which encounters with women and children who have been subjected to violence occur. 

Barnafrid is a national knowledge centre established by Linköping University to fulfil the mission from the Swedish government to gather and disseminate knowledge on violence against children. The center promotes interdisciplinary knowledge development and cross-agency collaboration, helps to improve preventive work on violence against children, and develops effective measures to support and protect children. The centre has also been commissioned to improve knowledge on honour-based violence among relevant professional groups.

The 10-year strategy to combat men’s violence against women, adopted in 2016, includes several measures directly concerning children, including ensuring greater protections to children who have witnessed violence and an evaluation of the 2014 legislative amendment on forced marriage and child marriage.

In 2019, End Violence and our partners are working to:

GROW DEMAND

  • By incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Swedish law on 1 January 2020.

EQUIP PRACTITIONERS 

  • By supporting the documenting of existing interventions according to INSPIRE strategies.