New legislative proposal on the Convention on the Rights of the Child

On 15 March, the Government adopted a bill on making the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Swedish law. In order for the convention to have a greater impact, the Government is also proposing a guidance document, an education initiative and continued systematic transformation work.

"The decision means that we are clarifying the role of the child as a legal entity with their own specific rights. This means that children will be in greater focus in situations that apply to them," says Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality Lena Hallengren.

Courts and legal practitioners to consider the rights of the 

The new act clarifies that courts and legal practitioners must consider the rights contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The rights of the child must be considered in deliberations and assessments made in decision-making processes in cases and matters that concern children.
Incorporation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child also helps to give visibility to the rights of the child. It is a way to create the foundation for a more child-oriented approach in all public sector activities. It is proposed that the act enter into force on 1 January 2020.

A regulatory framework and an educational tool

By being incorporated into Swedish law, the Convention as a whole will become more visible. It will be clear that the rights contained in the Convention are interlinked and should be interpreted in relation to each other, and that they are brought together in one and the same act. In this way, the Convention will become an educational tool and a cohesive regulatory framework to relate to.

Incorporation of the Convention also makes clear that other legislation concerning children, such as the provisions of the Children and Parents Code, the Aliens Act, the Education Act, the Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments and the Social Services Act, must be interpreted on the basis of the Convention in its entirety and not only on the basis of the provisions transformed into each act.
Incorporation will make the provisions of the Convention applicable as law. With the reservation that all the provisions are not directly applicable in every individual case, they can form the basis for decisions by public authorities in legal and administrative cases. This also applies when the provisions of the Convention are not explicitly clear from other legislation.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989. Sweden played a leading role in work on the Convention and was one of the first countries to ratify it. The Convention entered into force on 2 September 1990.

What do transformation and incorporation mean?

Transformation is a method for adapting Swedish law to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It involves introducing or amending provisions in Swedish legislation so that they are in line with the provisions in the Convention.

Incorporation of a convention means that an act is adopted stipulating that the convention in question, or certain parts of the convention, are applicable as law in Sweden.