About the reports
Each year, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs compiles reports on the human rights situation in the countries of the world. The reports have been publicly available since 2002 and can be accessed on the Government’s human rights website. The reports being presented in spring 2014 concern Asia and the Pacific Region (only in Swedish).
Public access and dialogue
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has been compiling annual reports on compliance with human rights in individual countries for several years. The reports have been publicly available since 2003. They reflect the Government’s ambition that human rights efforts are to be a central part of Sweden’s and the EU’s foreign policy. Each year, the reports reach an increasing number of readers, which indicates a growing demand for information about human rights, particularly in Swedish. The Government’s human rights website has some 25 000 unique visitors every month. This figure usually doubles the month in which the reports are published.
Why write the reports?
The aim of the reports is to provide correct and easily available information in Swedish about the human rights situation in the countries of the world. The target group is an interested general public as well as Swedish public authorities, the media and the academic world. It is, however, important to keep in mind that a 20 page report can never give an exhaustive picture of what are often complex and highly nuanced situations. Other sources should always be consulted in parallel.
Compiling these reports also helps increase knowledge and awareness of human rights within the Swedish Foreign Service.
How are the reports compiled?
The reports are based on information from the one hundred or so Swedish missions abroad around the world. For those countries in which Sweden has no presence, material has been compiled by the responsible Swedish embassy in the region. The reports are then prepared by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in consultation with the embassies. Several different departments of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are involved in this work.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs does not write annual reports on the human rights situation in Sweden. Instead, there are links under the heading ‘Sweden’ to information on how the Government works with human rights issues in Sweden.
The reports are largely based on available public information, including information from human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, from other countries and from the UN – particularly the reviews of individual countries regularly carried out by the UN Human Rights Committees and the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
Additional information comes from the contacts the embassies and the Ministry have with various actors in each country, including public authorities, UN bodies and organisations working to protect human rights.
The human rights reports cover the situation regarding civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, in accordance with the contents of the central UN conventions on human rights. They also contain sections on the opportunities available to women, children, LGBT people, people with disabilities and people belonging to minorities to exercise their rights. The reports also detail the international human rights conventions that have been ratified by each country.
The reports consist of working material and are not primarily written for publication. Consequently they differ in length and level of detail. These differences are not in themselves meant to reflect Sweden’s views on the human rights situation in each individual country.
The contents of the reports have been verified to the best of our ability. Nevertheless, certain errors may have occurred. The aim is to improve these reports from year to year. As stated above, other sources should always be consulted in parallel.