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Victims of atrocity crimes in Sweden – are international legal and political obligations met?

Research project Armed conflicts of recent years have been very brutal and generated large flows of refugees. Many have sought refuge in Sweden and it is obvious that amongst them, a considerate number are victims of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other very serious abuse. This project examines the extent to which Swedish law and practice lives up to international legal and political obligations in relation to these victims.

The aim of the project is to study the extent to which Sweden lives up to international legal and political obligations in relation to victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. We will analyse international and national legislation and how this legislation is put in practice in procedures for these crimes in Sweden. The project will result in a discussion on solutions to identified problems of a legal and institutional nature and carries importance for the victims as well as the Swedish legislator, government and authorities.

Head of project

Fanny Holm
Associate professor
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2018-10-01 2021-09-30

Funding

Appr. 800 000 Sek per year, Brottsofferfonden.

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Law

Project description

Armed conflicts of recent years have been very brutal and generated large flows of refugees. Many have sought refuge in Sweden and it is obvious that amongst them, a considerate number are victims of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other very serious abuse. There individuals – with their difficult and unique experience of victimization – now have legitimate expectations that Sweden lives up to its international responsibilities in relation to these crimes and this special category of victims. But the situation is new and it is not clear what Sweden must do, to what extent this is being done and where the problems lie.

This study will identify and analyse the obligations that international law, human rights and different instruments in the grey area between law and politics – for instance the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law – place on Sweden and the rights that are recognized for the victims of crime. The study is focussed on the victims’ right to justice, reparation and information.

The study will also analyse how Swedish legislation and its application within different authorities relates to international and regional instruments. Finally, the study will discuss solutions to identified problems of a legal and institutional nature. The method used is mainly legal. An interview study with representatives of relevant authorities and organisations will also contribute with new knowledge regarding institutional factors affecting the crime victims’ access to justice, reparations and information.

The project contributes an identification of specific problems in legislation and practice and with suggestions on solutions. The project carries obvious importance for the large numbers of victims but also for the Swedish legislator, government and authorities.