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Speech by Mikael Damberg at UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Digital conference in Kyoto, Japan, 7 March 2021. Check against delivery.
Madam President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, let me express my warmest gratitude to the Government of Japan for your hospitality and dedication in hosting this congress, despite the challenges of a global pandemic.
I also would like to thank the UNODC Secretariat and the Executive Director for all their efforts in organizing the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
Sweden supports the statement made on behalf of the European Union by Commissioner Ylva Johansson. I would now like to elaborate on one of the important topics she addressed.
Men’s violence against women must end. Worldwide, we are currently facing a grim pandemic that has exposed inequalities and increased the gap between women and men. Violence against women and girls has increased, which is one of the ultimate expressions of inequality.
We welcome that the Kyotodeclaration contains a paragraph on domestic violence, marking our common determination to prevent and counter violence against women.
Our goal as a feminist government is equal power for women and men to shape society and their own lives, and to end violence against women. In line with this, Sweden is currently implementing a ten-year National Strategy for preventing and combating Men’s Violence against Women. The strategy raises the importance of preventive measures and men’s participation and responsibility in the work against violence. I can give you a few examples:
The Government has tasked the Swedish Police Authority to integrate gender aspects in all its work. This has resulted in more resources and investigators to fight domestic violence and crimes against women.
Prosecutors with special skills and experiences are put in the lead.
Sweden’s sexual offences legislation criminalises all sexual acts which are not based on consent. The purchase of sexual services is also criminalised, which has proven to be a valuable tool in the prevention of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Compliance with international obligations is crucial and the Istanbul Convention offers an important device for follow-up. Sweden works for enhanced prevention, including treatment programmes for perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence.
However, the problems go further. Crimes of violence against women is an international problem. It is used as a weapon in war and terrorism, and as a tool in organised crime through trafficking of human beings.
We need to make full use of the international tools and channels of cooperation to deal with these urgent issues and to reinforce accountability.
I invite you all to work with us.
When we invest in gender equal conditions, we strengthen our democracies and promote peace and social cohesion in society.
I would like to conclude by thanking you all for your attention. We highly appreciate the possibility to participate in the discussions this week.