The 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which has been assembled for four weeks since 27 February, ended on friday. The agenda has covered many highly topical issues regarding human rights around the world.
The Government is deepening and intensifying the major drive to prevent and combat men's violence against women that was launched during the last electoral period. Women and men, girls and boys, must be able to live free of the fear of being subjected to violence and other abuse. Today, on International Women's Day, the Government would like to turn the spotlight on this issue.
Yesterday, a panel discussion on LGBT issues is being held at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The discussion focuses on the report on discrimination and acts of violence against LGBT people that was published by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights late last autumn.
"We feel it is important that the Council establishes a mechanism that makes it possible to systematically monitor the situation of LGBT people around the world", says Carina Mårtensson, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
On 9 December, the minister responsible for democracy issues, Birgitta Ohlsson, presented the Government's action plan to protect democracy against violent extremism. The action plan consists of 15 measures and SEK 62 million is being set aside in 2012-2014 to strengthen preventive work.
"I am proud to present the first Swedish action plan against violent extremism. We must defend the cornerstones of democracy, including the rule of law, freedom of expression and other fundamental human rights," says Birgitta Ohlsson.
Lawyer and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi from Iran has been awarded the 2011 Per Anger Prize for her efforts on behalf of human rights and especially the rights of women. Since 2004 the Living History Forum awards the Per Anger Prize to a person who has made great contributions to democracy and humanitarian work. The Prize Award Ceremony will take place at Kulturhuset on Monday 14 November in connection with the Human Rights Days event. The prize will be awarded by Minister for Integration Erik Ullenhag.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs compiles reports on compliance with human rights in all countries of the world. The reports have been publicly available since 2003 and are available on the Government website for human rights, www.manskligarattigheter.se.
In 2010 the Ministry for Foreign Affairs examined the human rights situation worldwide. The reports for 2010 will be presented on 7 July 2011.
In Sweden, marriage may not be entered into without the valid consent of both people. Nevertheless, many young people in our society are worried that they won't be allowed to choose their own partner or spouse. The Swedish Government has therefore adopted an action plan to prevent young people from being forced into marriage with 15 different measures.
Nyamko Sabuni to speak at UN Commission on Status of Women
Next week sees the start of the annual UN meeting looking at global gender equality challenges. Over 3 500 delegates from around the world will take part in the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which this year focuses on the access of girls and women to education. Sweden will also hold its own seminar on gender equality, education and development on 22 February. HRH Princess Madeleine will attend the seminar.
Gender equality and political will crucial in reducing maternal mortality
Gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights are key factors in reducing maternal mortality in the world. Political will, adequate financing and men's responsibility are other vital elements in reducing the number of women who die during pregnancy, in childbirth and due to unsafe abortions. This was established at a seminar arranged by the Government during the UN meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women currently under way in New York.Photo: Koji Ishibashi
Nyamko Sabuni at UN gender equality meeting
On Tuesday 2 March, Minister for Integration and Gender Equality Nyamko Sabuni will speak at the meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York. This year's session will contain an evaluation of how states are living up to the commitments set out in the UN's action plan for gender equality, the Beijing Platform. Sweden will also be organising a special seminar on gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the context of Millennium Development Goal 5 on improved maternal health and reduced maternal mortality.Photo: Ken Opprann/Norway