U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sweden
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||5 June 2006|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sweden, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d8b21f.html [accessed 24 April 2014]|
Sweden (Tier 1)
Sweden is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and children from Estonia, Russia, the Balkans, and Nigeria trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Authorities noted an increase in ethnic Roma women and children trafficked from Romania. Victims transit Sweden as they are trafficked to Denmark, Norway, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Recently, a large number of Chinese children were trafficked through Sweden to Denmark, Germany, Italy, France, and the Netherlands.
The Government of Sweden fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons. The government provides funding and administrative support to NGOs in Sweden and abroad to provide assistance to victims of trafficking. The government continued to provide generous funding to combat trafficking world-wide. In October 2005, the government announced a project to improve victim repatriation and reintegration by creating a Nordic-Baltic regional network of NGOs and social and law enforcement agencies; Sweden has contributed more than $450,000 to the project that will run from 2006 through 2009. Sweden should consider implementing domestic public awareness campaigns focusing on demand, and should implement the proposed immigration law granting a 30-day reflection period for all identified victims. Sweden's anti-trafficking efforts were supported by a law that reduced demand for trafficking victims by criminalizing the purchase of sex.
The Government of Sweden increased law enforcement efforts and aggressively targeted traffickers over the reporting period. In 2005, authorities conducted 44 investigations. Prosecutions and convictions increased as well. During 2005 and early 2006, the government prosecuted and convicted 15 individuals under the anti-trafficking law, compared with two convictions obtained during the previous reporting period. Over the last year, the government also prosecuted and convicted 25 traffickers using statutes directly related to trafficking, resulting in sentences ranging from two to five years' imprisonment. Those sentenced for crimes related to trafficking received sentences ranging from two to three years. In February 2006, Sweden conducted its first trafficking in persons training for judges to help improve judicial understanding of the issue and the application of the anti-trafficking law. The government regularly cooperates with other governments in trafficking investigations. In 2005, Sweden requested and was granted the extradition of a Russian citizen from Germany in connection with a trafficking case. During the reporting period, the government did not identify or prosecute any cases of public officials complicit in trafficking.
Sweden continued to provide extensive victim support and assistance to foreign victims of trafficking, particularly after their repatriation to countries of origin. The government sponsored numerous shelters and rehabilitation centers in source countries such as Russia. It also partially funded a project that focused attention on child trafficking in Albania, Greece, and Italy. Foreign victims identified within Sweden may obtain a temporary residence permit which entitles victims to health care and social services; although these permits are currently only available to those victims who cooperate in trafficking investigations, the government recently proposed new changes to the law that would grant victims a 30-day temporary residency permit regardless of whether the victim elects to cooperate with authorities. The government has performed inadequately, however, in interdicting and protecting unaccompanied foreign children – particularly Chinese – seen transiting Sweden and believed to be victims of trafficking.
The government continued its efforts to raise international awareness of trafficking, including efforts to increase awareness of the root causes of trafficking. Sweden worked to develop sustainable best practices and strategies to combat trafficking; this program continues to be carried out in partnership with two international NGOs. In August 2005, the government agreed to jointly fund a three-year program to strengthen the capacity of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to combat trafficking in persons, provide necessary victim assistance and protection, and strengthen public awareness.