Children's rights

Last updated: 28 9 2018

Image Boken om Sverige
This material is from the book About Sweden.

In nearly all countries, there are laws and rules to protect children and young people. Children and young people in Sweden are protected by both international and domestic laws. Sweden takes children's rights and protection against threats and violence very seriously. The State and the municipalities work to ensure that children and young people have a safe and good upbringing.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Sweden is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. A convention is a set of rules that several countries have agreed on. The Convention on the Rights of the Child contains rules that are designed to protect children's human rights.

As Sweden is a signatory to the Convention, we have promised that these rules will apply to all children and young people in the country. The Convention contains various rules that are called articles. There are 54 articles in the Convention.

Here are some of the most important:

  • The child shall be protected against discrimination. Accordingly, they may not be treated worse than others.
  • Politicians, public authorities and courts shall always consider what is best for the child in all decisions.
  • Parents shall bring up their child in a way that is consistent with the child's age and maturity.
  • The child has a right to life and development. This means that the country must protect the child from being killed in war or by disease. The right to development means that the child has the right to a good childhood.
  • The child shall have the right to express their opinion and be listened to. Public authorities and courts shall ask the child what they would like to happen.
  • The child has the right to a private life. This can mean, for example, that parents are not to read the child's diary or letters.
  • Children have the right to be protected from domestic violence. Children shall be protected from parents and other adults who are violent towards them or neglect them.

The Swedish school system makes extensive use of the Convention's rules as a foundation for its work.

Children's Rights in Society – BRIS

BRIS (Children's Rights in Society) is an organisation that helps children and young people who are anxious or have problems. You can call BRIS for free on 116 111. Anyone under 18 can call this number and talk to an adult about anything they want to.

BRIS cannot see which number you are calling from. The telephone bill does not list the call either.

BRIS can also help adults who are worried about their children. Adults can call BRIS on 077-150 50 50.