The national consultation in Sweden was convened on 8-10 May 2017 and was organised with the cooperation and support from the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. The consultation gathered important expertise from Sweden, as the pioneer country in enacting a legal ban of corporal punishment that has a long-standing experience in promoting non-violent childhoods.
Considering the long-standing experience in Sweden and the evolution of the implementation measures of the legal ban over almost four decades, the focus of the Swedish consultation was expanded beyond the theme of corporal punishment to also look at violence against children more broadly. The distinctions between corporal punishment and other forms of violence against children are often not easy to make. Although the practice of corporal punishment has declined significantly over the past decades, children in Sweden are still today affected by violence in different contexts and settings. The interest is therefore to explore the linkages between different forms of violence and how national governments can address these complexities in an integrated way.
Sweden has also initiated the series of high-level dialogues on corporal punishment and non-violent childhoods. The first high-level conference took place in Stockholm in 2014, the second in Vienna two years after and the third one will take place in Malta in 2018.
Currently, Sweden is in the process of incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into national law. Although relevant laws affirming the human rights of the child and protecting children from all forms of violence are already part of the national legislation, this important process will change the status of the Convention and will continue to promote the knowledge and awareness of the Convention and the right of every child to grow up free from violence.
The national consultation tour visits Finland next, and then Latvia, Estonia and Poland. See the project website for information about the Swedish National Consultation or more information about the project at http://www.childrenatrisk.eu/nonviolence.