U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sweden

Sweden (Tier 1)

Sweden is a destination and transit country for women from Nigeria, Estonia, Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Venezuela, and Thailand trafficked to Sweden or through Sweden to Norway, Denmark, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Sweden is a transit country for children trafficked from China to countries in Western Europe. In 2006, police noted a new trend of children from Romania and Poland trafficked to Sweden for purposes of forced begging and petty theft.

The Government of Sweden fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons. The government continued to fund both awareness and victim assistance programs in source countries, spending approximately $2 million in 2006 in southeastern Europe. The government should continue its strong funding of law enforcement activities. Sweden should consider more training for judges and prosecutors on the application of the Anti-Trafficking Law to ensure a greater number of traffickers continue to be brought to justice.


Sweden demonstrated continued progress in its law enforcement efforts over the last year. Sweden's 2002 anti-trafficking law prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor, although prosecutors continue to rely on a prostitution procurement law to prosecute and convict a number of sex traffickers. Sweden's anti-trafficking law provides penalties of two to 10 years' imprisonment, which are commensurate with penalties for other grave crimes, such as rape. In 2006, police conducted 28 trafficking investigations, a decrease from 44 in 2005. Authorities prosecuted and convicted 21 traffickers using the anti-trafficking law and procurement statute, up from 15 prosecutions and convictions in 2005. All 21 traffickers were sentenced to time in prison, with no suspended sentences. Sentences imposed on traffickers ranged from 10 months to 5 years' imprisonment. In 2006, the government conducted its first-ever trafficking in persons training for judges.


Sweden maintained its commitment to provide adequate victim assistance both domestically and in source countries during the reporting period. The government provides funding to NGOs in Sweden and abroad to provide support for victims. The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) funded the building of shelters and funded police trainings in Ukraine and Turkey. Sweden encourages victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; victims who cooperate in criminal trafficking investigations may obtain residency permits that provide victims access to health care and social services. Victims who decline to participate in investigations are subject to deportation. Police report that use of these residency permits has slowed deportations, eased the plight of some victims, and aided investigations. In 2006, one victim – a Russian – was granted permanent residency as a result of her status as a victim of trafficking.


The Government of Sweden continued to demonstrate strong trafficking prevention efforts. In 2006, the government partially funded an MTV awareness campaign in the Balkans focused on child trafficking and changing the attitudes of clients of the sex trade. SIDA funded awareness raising projects in the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Albania, and Bulgaria. The government also funded an awareness project in the northern territories of Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Russia focused on demand reduction for commercial sexual exploitation. Sweden adequately monitored immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. The government publishes an annual report each spring, providing trafficking statistics and an assessment of government efforts to combat trafficking.


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