Historic investment to combat racism and strengthen equal rights for LGBTI people

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The Government is making several investments to combat racism and strengthen the rights of LGBTI people. The Government is strengthening the national plan to combat racism and hate crime with SEK 10 million per year from 2020. At the same time, the work to strengthen the rights of LGBTI people will receive SEK 14 million per year from 2020, and temporary additional funds of SEK 10 million per year are planned for 2021 and 2022. It is the biggest ever investment in the area by any government.

Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen.
“When parts of society become unsympathetic to the concept of the equal value of all people, we must protect the steps that have been made, but more importantly, take new steps forward. This is why we are now making a historic investment to combat racism and strengthen equal rights for LGBTI people,” says Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen. Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden

Investments to combat racism

The Swedish Security Service 2018 Yearbook states: “A xenophobic and radical nationalist current, most evident online, is on the rise in Sweden. This contributes to a picture of a growing broad radical nationalism including radical and violent groups.” It is the Government’s view that these currents and racist organisations spread, for example, antisemitic, Islamophobic and Afrophobic messages.

Increased awareness and knowledge are required in order to address and handle racism’s breeding grounds. Hate crime will be prevented and combated. Crime victims must see that society takes these crimes – and the vulnerability of victims – very seriously.

The Government therefore wants to strengthen the national plan to combat racism, similar forms of hostility and hate crime. This will provide scope for continued and new measures within the framework of the plan’s five strategic areas:

  • More knowledge, education and research.
  • Improved coordination and monitoring.
  • Civil society: greater support and more in-depth dialogue.
  • Strengthening  preventive measures online.
  • A more active legal system.
  • The Government intends to allocate SEK 10 million to the national plan per year from 2020 onwards.

The rights of LGBTQ people will be strengthened

In recent years, several reforms have been made that have strengthened the rights of LGBTI people. Despite this, there are still major challenges throughout the world, including in Sweden. Same-sex couples risk difficulties when they become parents because of legislation that is not tailored to the needs of rainbow families. LGBTI people have poorer mental health than the general population, and the situation for transgender people is particularly worrying.

The reform efforts must therefore continue so that LGBTI people can live in freedom, with full respect for their rights and identities.

The Government intends to strengthen the efforts through an action plan for equal rights and opportunities for LGBTI people, which will complement other measures and act as a focal point for efforts in the future. SEK 14 million is to be allocated for the action plan per year from 2020, and time-limited additional funds of SEK 10 million per year are planned for 2021 and 2022.

The action plan will focus on current challenges and concrete measures. The action plan will reinforce and complement the strategy for equal rights and opportunities irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and will focus on current challenges and concrete measures. Organisations that represent LGBTI people’s equal rights will be invited to take part in dialogue on the content of the action plan.

The investment clearly shows that the situation for LGBTI people is a priority issue for the Government and that it is work that needs to be long-term.

“When parts of society become unsympathetic to the concept of the equal value of all people, we must protect the steps that have been made, but more importantly, take new steps forward.  This is why we are now making a historic investment to combat racism and strengthen equal rights for LGBTI people,” says Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen.