Measures to address increased vulnerability due to the coronavirus

Published

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the spread of the COVID-19 disease have resulted in a global crisis affecting human life and health. At the same time, the socio-economic consequences and financial impacts on many families are contributing to increased stress and anxiety. Crisis and disaster research shows that the crisis is affecting the population unequally. Those with the least resources and in the most disadvantaged circumstances are generally those who suffer the greatest strain.

The coronavirus crisis threatens to exacerbate the vulnerability of children and young people at risk in their home environment. The same applies to victims of domestic violence and ‘honour’-based violence and oppression, including women, children, young women, older people, LGBTI people and people with disabilities. Greater isolation can increase the incidence of violence and control. Those who are vulnerable might also find it more difficult to receive information and seek support.

In light of the consequences of the COVID-19 virus and its impact on already vulnerable groups, the Government today intends to decide on two assignments:

  • an assignment to the Swedish Gender Equality Agency to reach victims of violence
  • a new ordinance on government grants that will enable the National Board of Health and Welfare to allocate SEK 100 million to non-profit organisations.

Assignment to the Swedish Gender Equality Agency

The Swedish Gender Equality Agency has been tasked with identifying and developing effective working methods that municipalities can use to spread information about domestic violence and ‘honour’-based violence and oppression, and to establish contact with victims of violence. The work will be based on the specific circumstances and conditions resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19. The working methods should be useful in the municipalities’ activities. The assignment to the Agency also includes disseminating the working methods to the municipalities.

The Agency will receive SEK 1.8 million in 2020 to carry out this assignment. The assignment should be carried out without delay and the report delivered to the Government (Ministry of Employment) by 26 February 2021.

National Board of Health and Welfare to allocate SEK 100 million to non-profit organisations

The Government intends to adopt an ordinance on government grants to allocate SEK 100 million to non-profit organisation activities addressing increased vulnerability resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19. The money will go to organisations that work with children at risk and with women, children and LGBTI people who are victims of violence; it will also go to organisations working to end domestic violence and ‘honour’-based violence and oppression.

Non-profit organisations that have been operating for at least two years will be eligible to apply for the grant. The National Board of Health and Welfare will be allocating the grants and will therefore soon be providing information about the application process. The money must be used in 2020.

The decisions regarding the two assignments are based on an agreement between the Swedish Social Democratic Party, the Green Party, the Centre Party and the Liberals.