Measures to combat antisemitism and increase security
A number of measures are under way or being planned to combat antisemitism and increase security. These are being carried out both by the Government and by government agencies on the Government’s instructions. Below are some examples.
- A National plan to combat racism, similar forms of hostility and hate crime was adopted in November 2016. The plan provides an integrated approach to combating all forms of racism and hate crime, including antisemitism and antisemitic hate crime. Five strategic areas are outlined in the plan: improved coordination and monitoring; more knowledge, education and research; greater support to, and more in-depth dialogue with, civil society; strengthened preventive measures online; and a more active judicial system.
- The Living History Forum is conducting a major education initiative on different forms of racism throughout history and today, including antisemitism. Within the framework of this task, the Forum is producing information material about the various forms of racism and training school staff in cooperation with the National Agency for Education. In addition to school staff, other professional groups such as employment agents, social workers and police employees will also have the opportunity to take part in the training.
- The conditions for schools and others to take remembrance trips to Holocaust memorials in 2018–2020 have been improved through an assignment to the Living History Forum and financial support to the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism.
- The Swedish Media Council is working to empower children and young people as knowledgeable and informed media users through media and information literacy. The Council is also carrying out the ‘No Hate Speech Movement’ among children and young people to combat racism on the internet, for example.
- The Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society distributes funding annually in accordance with the Ordinance on government grants to activities combating racism and similar forms of intolerance. The Agency has received more funding since 2016 in order to increase the distribution of government grants to projects specifically aiming to combat different forms of racism, including antisemitism.
- The Swedish Police Authority has raised its level of ambition with respect to hate crime. A national contact point is now in place for these issues, as well as democracy and hate crime groups in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. When deemed necessary, the Swedish Police Authority will increase its surveillance efforts and take other security measures to protect Jewish interests.
- The Swedish Prosecution Authority has also taken measures to enhance the quality of its work to combat hate crime.
- The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention has been tasked with conducting an in-depth study of antisemitic hate crime in Sweden.
- In January 2018, the Swedish Centre for Preventing Violent Extremism was established under the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention with the aim of achieving a more long-term approach to, and further enhancing, preventive efforts at national, regional and local level.
- Appropriations to security-enhancing measures for civil society and schools have been increased considerably. The National Agency for Education is distributing funds in 2018–2020 in accordance with the Ordinance on government support for security-enhancing measures in schools. Since October 2018, the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency has distributed grants in accordance with the Ordinance on government grants for security enhancement to civil society organisations.
- A special envoy for intercultural and interfaith dialogue, based at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, was appointed in the previous electoral period. The special envoy’s assignments include strengthening efforts to combat antisemitism and Islamophobia internationally, and protecting religious, including Christian, minorities in the Middle East and North Africa. The special envoy is working to better coordinate intergovernmental efforts and strengthen Sweden’s cooperation with important international stakeholders.
- Sweden was one of the founders of, and is an active participant in, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Sweden’s IHRA delegation is led by the Ambassador for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, who is also a resource on freedom of religion and belief issues for the entire Swedish Foreign Service.
- In 2020, Sweden will host a new international conference on remembrance of the Holocaust.
- A new museum will be established to preserve and pass on the memory of the Holocaust.