Right not to be discriminated against

All human beings are equal in dignity and rights. Protection against discrimination is one of the cornerstones of human rights work. Under the Swedish Discrimination Act, no person may be discriminated against or prevented from exercising their rights on grounds of gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Government initiatives
The objective of the Government’s initiatives to counter discrimination is a society free from discrimination. This area includes measures to combat discrimination on grounds of gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnic origin, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age. Other related measures include combating racism, homophobia and other similar forms of intolerance. Measures that aim to prevent and combat discrimination are fundamental to a democracy. The Government is working actively for the principle of the equal value of all people, both in Sweden and in a variety of international contexts. Measures are conducted within the framework of Sweden’s gender equality policy, the integration policy and the disability policy.

Office of the Equality Ombudsman
The principle task of the Office of the Equality Ombudsman is to ensure compliance with the Discrimination Act. Read more about the Office of the Equality Ombudsman:
Office of the Equality Ombudsman


Ombudsman for Children in Sweden
The Ombudsman for Children in Sweden is tasked with monitoring issues relating to the rights and interests of children and young people. Read more about the Ombudsman for Children in Sweden:
Ombudsman for Children in Sweden

EU-level work
Anti-discrimination work is central to the EU. Swedish anti-discrimination legislation is based on several EU directives in the area, including:

- The Directive implementing the principle of equal treatment of persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (Directive 2000/43/EC)
- The Directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (Directive 2000/78/EC)
- The Directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services (Directive 2004/113/EC).

Read more about the EU’s anti-discrimination work on the EU Commission’s website

International conventions
There are several UN conventions in this area to which Sweden has acceded, including:

- The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
- The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
- The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Read more about the conventions to which Sweden has acceeded

In addition to these conventions, virtually all central UN conventions on human rights contain provisions on unlawful discrimination.

The European Convention on Human Rights
The European Convention on Human Rights contains a prohibition of discrimination in Article 14. Protocol 12 to the Convention, which contains a general prohibition of discrimination, has recently been adopted. There are provisions against discrimination also in EU law, for example,Article 13 of the Treaty of Lisbon and Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the EU Charter).
Read the European Convention on Human Rights

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
The EU Charter became binding for EU Member States after the Treaty of Lisbon came into force on 1 December 2009. The EU Charter reiterates in principle the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights and is also based on the Council of Europe’s Social Charter, constitutional traditions in the EU Member States and case-law of the European Court of Justice. The principle of non-discrimination (Article 21) is contained in Chapter III, gender equality. The EU Charter is aimed at EU institutions and bodies as well as Member States when they apply EU legislation.
Read the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union