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Government Implementation of the Standard Rules
As Seen By Member Organizations of
World Federation of the Deaf - WFD

Sweden


Download 'WFD Reports on the UN Standard Rules' as a PDF file (240 KB)
© Dimitris Michailakis 1997

Swedish National Association of the Deaf, Sweden
Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Swedish Government, DPI (Handikappförbundens Samarbetsorgan), DPI (Neurologiskt Handikappades Riksf-rbund), DPI (Hörselskadades Riksförbund), DPI (Riksförbundet för Mag- och Tarmsjuka), ILSMH, WBU


General policy

The officially recognized disability policy is expressed in guidelines adopted by the government. According to the Government, disability policy is also expressed in law, in policy adopted by political parties, and in policy adopted by NGOs. The emphasis in this policy - in descending scale - is on anti-discrimination law, individual support, accessibility measures and rehabilitation. According to the Government, anti-discrimination law is the least emphasized aspect.

Since the adoption of the Standard Rules, the message of full participation has been conveyed by the Handicap Ombudsman and through seven conferences on the UN Standard Rules, at a national level.


Legislation

The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by a combination of special legislation and general legislation. There are no judicial mechanisms to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. The non-judicial body for that purpose is the Ombudsman. According to the Government, the judicial mechanism available to protect the rights of persons with disabilities is due process (legal remedy through courts). Non-judicial mechanisms include: an Ombudsman, a governmental body (administrative) and national/regional supervision.

General legislation applies to persons with different disabilities with respect to education, employment, the right to marriage, the right to parenthood/family, political rights, access to court-of-law, the right to privacy and to property rights. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: training, rehabilitation and counselling, financial security, employment, independent living, participation in decisions affecting themselves. According to the Government, even the benefit of health and medical care is guaranteed by law.

No new legislation concerning disability has been enacted, since the adoption of the Rules. According to the Government, the following laws have been enacted since the adoption of the Rules: the Act concerning Support Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairment and the Assistance Benefit Act, the Act concerning the Disability Ombudsman, the Act concerning Pilot Project with Parental Influence on school attendance of children with mental retardation and an amendment in the Act concerning Suitable Public Transport to Persons with Disabilities laying down that the needs of persons with disabilities must be taken into consideration in planning and implementing the transports.


Accessibility

The association answers only questions related to deaf people.
Sign language for deaf people is recognized as the official language of deaf people, it is used as the first language in education of deaf people, and is recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. There are government measures to encourage media and other forms of public information to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities. Sign language interpretation is available for any purpose in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and others.


Organizations of persons with disabilities

There is a national umbrella organization. There are legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with governmental institutions. Organizations of persons with disabilities are always consulted, when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations occur at the national level. The government financially supports existing or new organizations of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in legislatures and judicial authorities, to some extent in political parties and to a great extent in government and NGOs. The role of organizations of persons with disabilities is to advocate rights and improved services, mobilize persons with disabilities, identify needs and priorities, participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures concerning the lives of persons with disabilities, contribute to public awareness, provide services and to a limited extent promote/organize income generating activities.


Co-ordination of work

There is a body similar to a national co-ordinating committee reporting to the Swedish Labour Market Board (AMS). The committee only includes representatives of the Ministries of Employment and Education. The government expects the co-ordinating committee to participate in policy development or to perform other tasks. The establishment of the co-ordinating committee has led to a better dialogue in the disability field. According to the Government, there is no national co-ordinating committee.

It is too early to answer whether the adoption of the Rules has led to a rethinking of the approach to disability policy.


Contents of the WFD Report | Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Swedish Government, DPI (Handikappförbundens Samarbetsorgan), DPI (Neurologiskt Handikappades Riksf-rbund), DPI (Hörselskadades Riksförbund), DPI (Riksförbundet för Mag- och Tarmsjuka), ILSMH, WBU