In Sweden, the municipalities, county councils and regions play an important role in the implementation as places and organizations where human rights must be respected, protected, fulfilled and promoted on a daily basis.
Through ratifying regional and international conventions, the Swedish state has undertaken to respect, protect, promote and fulfill human rights. By way of constitutional laws, the
Local Government Act and special law, Swedish legislation governs how these commitments are to be implemented nationally. Due to the decentralized system and strong local self-governance in Sweden the human rights commitments are to a high degree implemented on local and regional level. The right to health, education and participation for example, are made concrete in the meeting between municipalities, county councils and regions and their inhabitants.
Even though Sweden as a country has come far when it comes to human rights protection, both discrimination as well as illegitimate differences in the access to and the quality of services exist between different inhabitants and groups. The task of integrating a human rights
perspective in the processes of governance and management, as well as in service delivery, needs to be supported and strengthened.
A number of surveys have revealed, however, that there is a need for increased understanding of how human rights commitments affect decision-making and the daily operations of local and regional authorities.
The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) therefore strives to support its members through various means, in order to enhance the ability of municipalities,
county councils and regions to strengthen human rights. This is also one of SALAR’s target areas for 2016-2019.
In addition, since 2014 SALAR has an agreement with the Swedish government that focuses on strengthening the work on human rights in municipalities, county councils and regions.
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