Swedish State Guilty of Ethnic Discrimination: What Happens Now?

Stockholm tingsrätt

Today, 10 June 2016, Stockholm District Court found the Swedish State guilty of ethnic discrimination as a result of the register over thousands of Roma individuals set up by the police. The ruling establishes that the eleven individuals who Civil Rights Defenders represented were registered only because of their ethnic origin, which violates both Swedish law and the European Convention on Human Rights. Find out more about what happens now.

Historic Court Ruling: Swedish State Guilty of Ethnic Discrimination


Swedish State is guilty of ethnic discrimination according to ruling in Stockholm District Court on 10 June 2016. Civil Rights Defenders wins the case and holds the State accountable for the police register of Swedish Roma citizens. The historical ruling today provides justice to the three children and eight adults who Civil Rights Defenders acted as legal representatives for in the lawsuit against the State.

Lawsuit Against the Swedish State


This Friday, on 10 June 2016, the Stockholm District Court will announce its ruling in the case of the ethnic register set up by the Skåne police. Civil Rights Defenders acts as legal representatives for 11 individuals from the Roma community whose personal information was registered by the police. We have not received any explanation as to why these individuals are included in the register, nor have we got any reason to believe that they were registered for reasons other than their ethnic origin. The ruling this Friday follows the main hearing which was held between 25-26 May.

Swedish Attorney Generals’ verdict on damages awarded to Roma lacks a human rights perspective

John Stauffer Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

The Attorney General recently ruled that the Roma who were illegally registered by the Skåne Police should receive 5,000 SEK in damages from the state as a result. The Attorney Generals’ decision is based almost exclusively on the Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protections conclusions regarding the legality of the registers but certain flaws have clearly been highlighted. 

Structural racism and hate crimes still a big problem in Sweden

Alternative report CERD

A hearing was held with the Swedish government in the UN Racial Discrimination Committee due to previous criticism from the committee. Civil Rights Defenders, along with Swedish United Nations Association, and nearly fifty other organizations presented a parallel report to the UN Racial Discrimination Committee. The report shows that structural racism, discrimination and hate crimes still are serious problems in Sweden.

Enabling Roma communities to access basic human rights

The main objective of Civil Rights Defenders cooperation with the organisation ARKA is to register, and provide identification documents, to around 300 Roma individuals in Skopje, Kumanovo, Kratovo, and Kriva Palanka regions. The registration will give them access to basic human rights; such as the right to education, health care, social allowances, as well as the possibility to get a legal employment and the right to vote in general elections.

Empowering the most vulnerable with Tirana Legal Aid Society

Since 2006 Civil Rights Defenders has cooperated with Tirana Legal Aid Society, TLAS, in assisting Roma families to register their children, but also other members of the families, in order to help them get access to some of the most fundamental human rights; such as the right to education, health care, social allowances, as well as the possibility to get a legal employment and the right to vote in general elections. Hundreds of families have been assisted through our joint efforts so far.