What rights do you have?

In Sweden you are a child until you turn 18.

Your rights

Sweden has signed the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (In Swedish: Barnkonventionen). UN means United Nations. Almost all of the world's countries are members of the UN. The UN is an organisation that cooperates for peace and human rights.

The children's convention contains the rights that all children should have. Sweden and almost every other country in the world have promised to follow the children's convention. The children's convention consists of rules that describe what your rights are as a child. The rules are called articles and they say that

  • you have the same rights as other children (article 2)
  • your best interests should always be important (article 3)
  • you have the right to live and develop (article 6)
  • you have the right to say what you think (article 12).

Asylum-seeking children have the same rights as other children in Swedish society. This means for example that

  • you have the right to have your say. This means that if you want to, you have the right to say what you think and feel and adults must listen to you and your needs when they make decisions regarding you
  • you have the right to medical care and dental care if you need it  
  • you have the right to go to school.

Adults cannot decide whatever they want about you, not even your parents. Adults are for example not allowed to hit you or threaten you. You have the right to your own body and nobody is allowed to harm it. You yourself have the right to decide for example whom you fall in love with and whom you want to marry.

You will meet people from different authorities

The Swedish Migration Agency is responsible for, among other things

  • investigating and deciding whether you and your family have the right to asylum or not
  • your home – if you live in accommodation provided by the Migration Agency
  • financial support – if you don't have any money of your own
  • appointing a public counsel. This is a person that knows the Swedish laws and who helps you and your family with your application for asylum. A public counsel is a lawyer or solicitor and does not work at the Migration Agency.
  • helping you with your journey from Sweden if you cannot stay here.

The municipality is responsible for, among other things,

  • your right to go to preschool, school and secondary school
  • something called the social services. In the social services, the staff work according to a law called socialtjänstlagen, the Social Services Act. This law is about your right to care and treatment. It contains rules for how society should help everyone who needs help and can't get it from anyone else.

The medical services is responsible for

  • providing dental care and health care for you.

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