Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
As a peaceful society, Sweden can be assessed to fulfil a number of the targets, for example, as regards effective and transparent institutions with accountability at all levels, the provision of legal identity, including birth registration, for all and ensuring public access to information and protecting fundamental liberties, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements. In October 2016, the Government submitted a communication to the Riksdag containing its strategy for the national work on human rights. In this communication, the Government makes the assessment that a national institution for human rights in accordance with the Paris Principles should be established and that this institution should be under the Riksdag.
The occurrence of violence in various forms poses a continued challenge. In November 2016, the Government submitted a communication to the Riksdag reporting different measures against, inter alia, honour-related violence. Sweden is one of ten pathfinder countries in the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, which was launched in New York in July 2016. The total number of murders was around 1 case per 100 000 inhabitants in 2016, which was an increase compared with 2011. Men are victims of fatal violence to a higher degree than women. The total proportion of the population subjected to violent crime, that is assault, threats or mugging, amounted to 6.8 per cent in 2015. Sexual offences are not included in the combined figure. The proportion subjected to assault was 2 per cent, the proportion subjected to threats 5 per cent, and the proportion subjected to mugging 0.9 per cent. The proportion of the population subjected to sexual offences in 2015 amounted to 1.7 per cent. Men are subjected to assault and mugging to a greater extent than women, while women are subjected to sexual offences and threats to a greater extent. People with disabilities state to a greater extent than others that they have been subjected to physical violence.
The 2016 Swedish Crime Survey showed that 81 per cent of the population felt quite or very safe late in the evening in their own neighbourhood. This is a decrease compared with the 2015 survey, but not compared with the 2006 survey. There are major differences between how men and women experience feeling unsafe in their own neighbourhood late in the evening. For example, 12 per cent of women completely refrain from going out late in the evening because of fear, which can be compared with 2 per cent of men. Among people with disabilities, 39 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men state that they refrain from going out. They constitute 27 per cent of the group as a whole.
According to a questionnaire survey of a nationwide selection of students in grade nine, the proportion of children aged 1-17 who stated that they on some occasion in their lifetime had been subjected to some form of physical or psychological assault, or to neglect or had witnessed violence in the home, was 20 per cent in 2011. There were no significant differences between boys and girls. However, children with disabilities often experience a particularly vulnerable situation.
According to a study from 2014, the proportion of women and men who stated that they had been subjected to sexual violence before the age of 18 was 37 per cent. Far more women, 54 per cent, had experienced sexual violence than men, among whom the proportion was 20 per cent.
The proportion of people in 2015 deprived of liberty pending a verdict, which also includes those who had appealed a lower court judgment, was 23 per cent of the total prison population, which was just under 5 800 persons in all.
Central government expenditure in relation to the funds allocated in the state budget was 100 per cent in 2015. The proportion of the population that was quite or very satisfied with democracy in Sweden was 69 per cent in 2015. In 1996, the proportion was just under 50 per cent.
Within the context of being a well-functioning, peaceful and democratically developed society, Sweden faces a number of challenges. These include different methods to prevent and combat various elements of violence, including violent extremism. The work against human trafficking requires expanded international cooperation. A vital cultural life and the safeguarding of cultural heritage are prerequisites for an inclusive and democratic society. A challenge for the whole of society is to continuously safeguard and further develop Swedish democracy and the rule of law, and to maintain respect for and observance of human rights, including the rights of people with disabilities and of children. The question of making the Convention on the Rights of the Child law is being prepared at the Government Offices. The tasks of the new national gender equality agency will include strengthening the preventive work against men’s violence against women.
Sweden’s foreign policy is to be permeated by the defence and protection of human rights, democracy and the principles of the rule of law. The Government’s communication Human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Swedish foreign policy31, which was submitted to the Riksdag in December 2016, also states that Sweden is to be a global leader in promoting, preventing and influencing developments in these three areas. As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2017 and 2018, Sweden’s work for peacebuilding focuses on strengthening a conflict prevention perspective, increasing the effectiveness of the UN and on highlighting the work for women, peace and security. Since 2015, Sweden has been co-Chair with Sierra Leone of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding. Interventions for peace and security are an important part of development cooperation. Most of the interventions that Sweden supports have been analysed from a conflict perspective. The work of Sweden to combat money laundering and terrorist financing has been conducted on many levels in 2016. This is a work that concerns large parts of society and that encompasses both administrative and criminal legislation. It is also a work that is largely conducted internationally, since the crime that the system is to counteract often has cross-border elements. In its ongoing international work, Sweden has pursued positions to ensure that the international framework for combating money laundering and terrorist financing is effective without compromising on the fundamental rule of law. This has been done in various forums, above all as part of negotiations in the international organisation, the Financial Action Task Force, and in the EU.