Advisory Committee Reviews Sweden's Minority Protection Efforts

Photo: Council of Europe

Sweden's commitment to safeguarding the rights of its national minorities, including the Jewish minority, Roma, Tornedalians, and the Sámi people, has been evaluated by the Advisory Committee. While some progress has been made, particularly among youth, further efforts are needed to promote awareness and respect for minority cultures, languages, and traditions nationwide.

The Advisory Committee criticized uneven implementation of minority legislation at local levels, urging clearer guidance for municipalities to ensure equal access for all minorities. Despite theoretical support for teaching in minority languages, practical limitations persist due to a shortage of qualified teachers. Dropout rates and absenteeism remain high, particularly among the Roma and Sámi communities.

While there has been an increase in teaching materials for the Sámi, there continues to be a lack of resources in Finnish, Yiddish, and Hebrew. Bilingual education options are limited, and exist mainly in independent schools. Meanwhile, closures of bilingual institutions pose challenges, especially for the Swedish Finnish minority.

Despite the expansion of minority language centers, greater attention to diverse needs within minority groups is required. As Sweden strives to uphold minority rights, the Advisory Committee emphasized the need for sustained efforts to address remaining challenges.

To read the full statement, visit the website of the Council of Europe