Next step to incorporate Convention on the Rights of the Child into Swedish law
The Government in Sweden decided to submit a proposal to the Council on Legislation to incorporate the Convention on the Rights of the Child into Swedish law. The Government considers that the Convention’s strong position must be made clearer and that a child rights-based approach must have a major impact in the application of the law.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child has applied in Sweden since 1990, and the overall conformity of Swedish legislation with the Convention is good. However, there are reports – most recently from the Inquiry on the rights of the child – indicating that the rights of the child have had inadequate impact in the application of the law.
"Another important step is now being taken to highlight the importance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child for Swedish law and clarify its strong status. With the Convention on the Rights of the Child as Swedish law, officials and decision-makers will have to take account of the Convention in a different way than is the case today. It will be more clearly required that legal practitioners must base any decisions concerning children on the rights contained in the Convention," says Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality Åsa Regnér.
Incorporation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child will gather those human rights that concern children in one act, which will contribute to a holistic view and make it clear that the Convention's articles are to be interpreted in relation to one another.
In decision-making processes concerning children, it will be made clearer that the principle of the best interests of the child must be the approach taken, and that the best interests of the child must be assessed on the basis of the individual child and their situation. With the Convention on the Rights of the Child as an act of law, it can be expected that children will be more involved in decisions that affect them.
It is proposed that the act enter into force on 1 January 2020 to give authorities responsible for the administration of justice ample time to make preparations ahead of the new act.