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International investigations into Swedish child abuse situation

1. Short news report of situation
2. Intro and credentials of lawyer in Sweden critical of Swedish anti-smacking law.
3. Short report extract of European Children’s Ombudsman critical of Swedish data collection mechanisms.
4. Short NCHR (Nordic Committee for Human Rights) criticism of investigative Committee on the Rights of the Child into Swedish compliance.


Tue, 14 June 2005
© 2005 Newstalk ZB News
Smacking ban does not work, says Swede

A Swedish lobby group says a total ban on smacking does not work.
Sweden has already enacted legislation similar to that planned for New Zealand, which would prevent parents using physical force to discipline their children.

Lawyer Ruby Harrold-Claesson, from Sweden's Nordic Community for Human rights says as a result, parents live in fear and families are broken up on a regular basis by the authorities.

She claims parents have been terrorised by officials, and children confiscated and destroyed by the system.

She says 18,000 children are in care, and the foster home industry has become a cash cow.

Ruby Harrold-Claesson says she is distressed another country wants to follow Sweden's example where she claims social workers and the Administrative courts have total control over parents.


Ruby Harrold-Claesson  
Chairman of The Nordic Committee for Human Rights  
Mrs. Ruby Harrold-Claesson, Lawyer, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, as daughter of Mr. and Mrs O. J. Harrold. She is married to Håkan Claesson, engineer. They have two daughters, Simone and Lorica and one son, Leif. Ruby Harrold-Claesson lives in Gothenburg, Sweden and can be reached at: + 46 - 31 - 70 20 385 (office); Fax: + 46 - 31 -70 25 242.

Besides her mother language English, Mrs Harrold-Claesson speaks Swedish, French and Spanish.

Ruby Harrold-Claesson started her academic career by studying Law and Political Science in France. In Sweden she has done post-graduate studies in Legal History, after which she took a Swedish law degree.

Ruby Harrold-Claesson runs a private law firm in Gothenburg. Ruby Harrold-Claesson works with family law, e.g. guardianship cases and cases dealing with parental rights; criminal cases etc.

Ruby Harrold-Claesson has referred several cases of breaches of Human Rights to the European Commission for Human Rights in Strasbourg.

2004-12-22 Skrivelse:

Observations of the Children's Ombudsman with respect to the written replies of the Government of Sweden concerning the list of issues (CRC/C/Q/SWE/3) raised by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in relation to the consideration of the third periodic report of Sweden.

6. Child abuse
There is no data available on victims of child abuse aged 15 to 17 years of age. In the view of the Children's Ombudsman, the fact that the statistical data on crimes against children 15 years of age and older is not separated from the data concerning adult victims makes the monitoring of the implementation of some of the rights contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter "the CRC") difficult. The Children's Ombudsman considers that this data should be further disaggregated, in particular by gender.

3. Individual complaints mechanisms for children
There are many complaints mechanisms in Sweden that in principle are available to individual children. However, most of these mechanisms may only issue recommendations concerning the issue at stake. In most cases, an effective remedy can only be obtained through a court procedure. As a rule, however, only the legal custodian(s) of a child can initiate legal proceedings on behalf of the child. Furthermore, as the Government notes in its written replies, there are no mechanisms that are especially designed for children. As a consequence, in practice only those children, whose parents are willing and able to complain on their behalf, have an effective remedy to possible violations of their rights.

On January 11, 2005, the Committee on the Rights of the Child considered the third periodic report of Sweden on that country’s efforts to implement the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Introducing the report, Elisabeth Borsiin Bonnier, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said the work of her Government to implement the provisions of the Convention within Swedish society had been constantly on-going since the country had ratified the treaty 15 years ago.

Committee Experts raised questions concerning child asylum seekers, the treatment of children with disabilities, acquisition of citizenship, and placement of children in foster families, among other things.

Moushira Khattab, (Egypt), the Committee Expert who also served as country Rapporteur for the report of Sweden, said Swedish children were fortunate to enjoy their rights.

The NCHR finds it surprising that Moushira Khattab, the person who has served as country Rapporteur for the report of Sweden, could say that "Swedish children were fortunate to enjoy their rights". Judging from Ms. Khattab's CV, her working languages are Arabic, English, French and German, it is quite obvious that she is unfamiliar with the tens of thousands of cases where the social services and the administrative court system in Sweden deprive children of their basic Human Rights to private and family life by forcibly taking them into public care and placing them in foster homes among total strangers. These child care cases are completely lacking in fairness, transparency, accountability and the rule of law. It is also quite obvious that Ms Khattab is not acquainted with the judgements in public care cases that the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has delivered against Sweden since 1982. It is also quite obvious that Ms Khattab has never visited the NCHR's web site where there is more than sufficient information to prove the serious violations of the basic Human Rights to private and family life of tens of thousands of children and their families.

Ms. Khattab's CV,

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