Your rights as a child in Sweden
In Sweden, you are considered to be a child until you turn 18. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the law in Sweden. The Convention on the Rights of the Child states what rights all children have. There are also other laws in Sweden that exist to protect children. Here you can read about some of the rights and special rules that exist to protect children.
All children have the right to be free from violence. No adult is allowed to strike, kick, push, pull your hair, or threaten you.
If you have been subjected to violence, call the police at 114 14.
If you are in acute danger, call the police at 112.
Child marriage is forbidden
Different countries have different age limits for when you are considered an adult and when you are considered a child. The rules for getting married also differ from country to country.
In Sweden, you are a child until the day you turn 18, and before that you cannot get married.
This is because it is believed that children should not bear the responsibility of a marriage. Early marriages can make children feel bad both physically and psychologically, because a child can be prevented from developing into their own, independent person and living the life to which they are entitled.
Once you have reached the age of 18, you decide for yourself whether you want to get married and, if so, to whom. No one is allowed to force or trick someone into marriage. It is illegal to try to force or trick a child into travelling to another country to get married. This is a crime that can lead to imprisonment. It is also illegal to force a child to live in a relationship similar to a marriage. When an adult has sex with a child under the age of 15, it counts as rape.
If someone is under the age of 18 and married
If any of the people in a marriage were under the age of 18 when they married, the marriage will not be valid in Sweden.
If you are under the age of 18 and apply for asylum together with the person to whom you are, instead of with your parents, you are counted as an unaccompanied minor. You will then be appointed a special guardian who will help you in your contact with the authorities.
Where to turn
If you have questions or need help, you can talk to a teacher, counsellor or healthcare professional. You can also contact the Swedish Migration Agency or social services in your municipality. If you have a special guardian, you can also turn to them.
If you are afraid that you or someone you know will be married off, you can call the police at 114 14.
The equal value of all people
In Sweden, there are many laws that state that all people are equal and have the same rights. We are entitled to have the same rights and opportunities in life no matter who we are, what we look like, where we come from, what we believe in, who we fall in love with, or how we function.
There are laws to prevent someone from being discriminated against or having their rights violated. As human beings, we are allowed to feel, think and believe as we please, but we are not allowed to do whatever we want. The Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression states that all people have the right to express their thoughts, opinions and feelings, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of someone else. We must all respect the right of our fellow human beings to their own identity and their own life choices.
Racism assumes that people can be divided into different groups and that people belonging to certain groups are of lesser value. For example, it can involve dividing people into groups according to their skin colour, culture or religion.
In Sweden, there are laws that are supposed to protect people from being subjected to racism. For example, it is forbidden to deny a person a job or housing because of the person’s name or origin. It is also forbidden to wear jewellery or clothing with racist text, swastikas, or other symbols that are racist or offensive to a particular group. It is also not permitted to disseminate information claiming that a group or person is worth less, for example because of their skin colour or religion.
Sometimes when you are treated badly, it can be difficult to know whether or not what you have been subjected to is illegal. Talk to someone you trust about what has happened, such as a teacher or someone else with whom you feel safe.