Current debate

Week 9: Children's rights in focus

During the past week, children's rights have been debated. DN's review of international adoptions was in its second week and OmVärlden took up the government's actions regarding the Swedish children living in prison camps in Syria. Sweden as a humanitarian state has been questioned at the same time as problems with authoritarian regimes have been discussed.

60 children from more than 000 countries have been adopted to Sweden according to Dagens Nyheter. The newspaper's review reveals cases where children have been abducted from their parents to orphanages or stolen at BB. Now all Swedish parties agree that an investigation into adoptions to Sweden between the 1960s and 1990s must be done.

In the DN debate, Jörgen Huitfeldt draws parallels between Sweden's failure in relation to the adoptions and Sweden's self - image as a humanitarian superpower. Sweden is one of the countries that gives the most money to the UN system despite it being corrupt and inefficient, Huitfeldt writes. When the desire to be seen as a humanitarian superpower is greater than the desire to focus on national problems and to "evaluate the concrete effect of what Sweden contributes", mistakes such as those around adoptions are made possible, says Huitfeldt.

In line with Huitfeldt's image of Sweden emphasizes debaters from the organization Repatriate the Children in OmVärlden the fact that Sweden has been placed on a “shame list” by the UN Human Rights Council. The reason is "lack of management of the situation with the families in extrajudicial captivity in northeastern Syria". Around 50 Swedish children and their mothers have spent several years in prison camps. "Letting Swedish citizens be deprived of their liberty without a timeline is not sustainable or legally secure," the debaters write, questioning the Swedish government's promise that all children should have the right to a safe upbringing. The image of Sweden as a humanitarian state is lacking.

In addition to Sweden, Saudi Arabia has received criticism during the past week. In Today's ETC, Amrit Singh writes, lawyer at the Open Society Justice Initiative, on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi 2018. After Joe Biden's administration published a report on the murder, there is new hope of holding the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia accountable. Singh urges the outside world to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and to impose financial sanctions and travel bans on the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and all others responsible for the assassination. If the international community does not take action against the Saudi government, it would pave the way for other "authoritarian governments to continue to murder and persecute dissidents with impunity," Singh said.

Accounting for authoritarian leaders is something that has been discussed within the EU during the week. DN writes that the EPP group - the European Parliament's largest party group that brings together conservative and Christian Democratic parties - is expected to change its statutes in the coming week, which means that Hungary's ruling party Fidesz may be excluded from the group. DN's editorial staff emphasizes that Viktor Orbán has "taken Hungary in an unpleasant direction" by, among other things, taking control of the judiciary and the media. Authoritarian leaders like Orbán "have nothing to do in the EU".


A selection of the last week's editorial and debate articles about Sweden's role in the world: 

Childrens Rights:

"Government reforms to strengthen children's rights do not apply to all children"
Beatrice Eriksson, Gorki Glaser-Müller, Patricio Galvéz from Repatriate the Children, OmVärlden

Jörgen Huitfeldt: It is time to pass on the idea of ​​Sweden as a humanitarian superpower to history
Jörgen Huitfeldt, Dagens Nyheter

All parties agree on the adoptions - must be investigated
Markus Botsjö, Dagens Nyheter

Authoritarian regimes:

Orbán and Kaczynski have punished themselves out of the EU
DN's editorial staff, Dagens Nyheter

The Saudi Crown Prince must be held accountable for the Khashoggi assassination
Amrit Singh, Today's ETC

Environment and Climate:  

Biofuels can be both good and bad
Jan-Erik Mattsson, Dagens ETC

Susanne Nyström: The climate issue must not become a cool accessory
Susanne Nyström, Dagens Nyheter

Time for Bolund to bury the fossil record
Isadora Wronski from Greenpeace in Sweden, Dagens ETC


The Nobel laureate's war risks leading to genocide
Amanch Abdi, OmVärlden

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