Sweden to push UN convention into national law

The Scandinavian country announced its move for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to be made law, but political uncertainties may slow the process.

Madura McCormack

Sweden revealed in November that it would work to make the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [UNCRC] law in 2015, a move that may be stalled by a recently destabilized political scene.

Plans to incorporate the UNCRC into Swedish law were announced by Prime Minister Stefan Loeven during the recent 25th anniversary celebration of the convention.

Created in 1989, the convention covers the basic rights that all children should have and is the most ratified human rights treaty in the world.

Loeven reasoned during his speech that while Swedish legislation is ‘generally adequate’, more needs to be done to guarantee the rights enshrined in the convention.

“Sweden has ratified the convention, but while it is a legally binding document, it lacks legal status and is not really being taken into account when decisions are made,” said a spokesperson from UNICEF Sweden.

UNICEF Sweden stated that while the Swedish government has made a clear position, making the convention law involves the lengthy process of hearings and requests and will take time.

A process that may be stretched due to an unusually shaky political situation.

Collapse of Swedish coalition

After having his budget struck down in parliament, Prime Minister Stefan Loeven has called for snap elections to be held in March 2015. The left-wing coalition government was 61 days old.

“We are back to the right wing budget and it will be difficult to get the convention to be law. So we have to wait,” said Jenny Sandsten, the education spokesperson for Feministisk Initiativ, a political party that fell a few per cent short of making it into parliament during the recent elections.

Sandsten claims the possible move back to a right wing government would see any plans to make the convention law be shelved indefinitely.

“They have had power for 8 years and have done nothing to make it law. So why now?” she said.