International Criminology World

World : Europe : Sweden

During the seventh and eighth centuries, the Swedes were merchant seamen well known for their far-reaching trade. In the ninth century, Nordic Vikings raided and ravaged the European Continent as far as the Black and Caspian Seas. During the 11th and 12th centuries, Sweden gradually became a unified Christian kingdom that later included Finland. Queen Margaret of Denmark united all the Nordic lands in the "Kalmar Union" in 1397. Continual tension within the countries and within the union gradually led to open conflict between the Swedes and the Danes in the 15th century. The union's final disintegration in the early 16th century brought on a long-lived rivalry between Norway and Denmark on one side and Sweden and Finland on the other.

In the 16th century, Gustav Vasa fought for an independent Sweden crushing an attempt to restore the Kalmar Union and laying the foundation for modern Sweden. At the same time, he broke with the Catholic Church and established the Reformation. During the 17th century, after winning wars against Denmark, Russia, and Poland, Sweden-Finland (with scarcely more than 1 million inhabitants) emerged as a great power. Its contributions during the Thirty Years War under Gustav II Adolf (Gustavus Adolphus) determined the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe. By 1658, Sweden ruled several provinces of Denmark as well as what is now Finland, Ingermanland (in which St. Petersburg is located), Estonia, Latvia, and important coastal towns and other areas of northern Germany.

Russia, Saxony-Poland, and Denmark-Norway pooled their power in 1700 and attacked the Swedish-Finnish empire. Although the young Swedish King Karl XII (also known as Charles XII) won spectacular victories in the early years of the Great Northern War, his plan to attack Moscow and force Russia into peace proved too ambitious; he fell in battle in 1718. In the subsequent peace treaties, the allied powers, joined by Prussia and England-Hanover, ended Sweden's reign as a great power.

Sweden suffered further territorial losses during the Napoleonic wars and was forced to cede Finland to Russia in 1809. The following year, the Swedish King's adopted heir, French Marshal Bernadotte, was elected Crown Prince as Karl Johan by the Riksdag. In 1813, his forces joined the allies against Napoleon. The Congress of Vienna compensated Sweden for its lost German territory through a merger of the Swedish and Norwegian crowns in a dual monarchy, which lasted until 1905, when it was peacefully dissolved at Norway's request.

Sweden's predominantly agricultural economy shifted gradually from village to private farm-based agriculture during the Industrial Revolution, but this change failed to bring economic and social improvements commensurate with the rate of population growth. About 1 million Swedes immigrated to the United States between 1850 and 1890.

The 19th century was marked by the emergence of a liberal opposition press, the abolition of guild monopolies in trade and manufacturing in favor of free enterprise, the introduction of taxation and voting reforms, the installation of a national military service, and the rise in the electorate of three major party groups--Social Democratic, Liberal, and Conservative.

During and after World War I, in which Sweden remained neutral, the country benefited from the worldwide demand for Swedish steel, ball bearings, wood pulp, and matches. Postwar prosperity provided the foundations for the social welfare policies characteristic of modern Sweden. Foreign policy concerns in the 1930s centered on Soviet and German expansionism, which stimulated abortive efforts at Nordic defense cooperation. Sweden followed a policy of armed neutrality during World War II and currently remains nonaligned. Sweden became a member of the European Union in 1995.



Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labor force. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Privately owned firms account for about 90% of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Agriculture accounts for only 2% of GDP and 2% of the jobs. The government's commitment to fiscal discipline resulted in a substantial budgetary surplus in 2001, which was cut by more than half in 2002, due to the global economic slowdown, revenue declines, and spending increases. The Swedish central bank (the Riksbank) is focusing on price stability with its inflation target of 2%. Growth should pick up to 2.3% in 2003, assuming a moderate global recovery.



The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice.  The Government does not hamper the practice or teaching of any faith. 

The country has maintained a state (Lutheran) church for several hundred years, supported by a general "church tax" although the Government routinely grants requests from taxpayers for exemptions.  All churches receive state financial support. 



The Swedish Penal code does not differentiate between crimes and infractions. The classification of crime in the official crime statistics is based on the legal crime definitions given in the Penal Code. However, main groups of crimes are divided into sub-categories. These divisions are not systematic but are guided by general principles. The subdivisions have developed over a long period and have been determined from a pragmatic point of view. It is important to note that the Swedish crime statistics show all crimes reported to the police whether or not they turn out to be "founded" or not after investigation.

The age of criminal responsibility is 15. However, special rules in regards to sanctioning apply until the age of 21. Only if there are special grounds may an offender below the age of 18 be sentenced to imprisonment. Imprisonment for offenders below the age of 18 is uncommon. For offenders aged 18 but not yet 21 the courts may sentence the offender to imprisonment only if there are special grounds regarding the culpability of the crime or other special reasons.

According to Swedish law it is illegal to enter the country, to have in possession, or to buy or use narcotics. The use of narcotics was criminalized in 1988. The list of prohibited drugs involve all common types of narcotics, including cannabis, and the number of drugs on the list totals around 170. In an international perspective, Sweden has a very restrictive drug policy.



The crime rate in Sweden is high compared to other industrialized countries. An analysis was done using INTERPOL data for Sweden. For purpose of comparison, data were drawn for the seven offenses used to compute the United States FBI's index of crime. Index offenses include murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. The combined total of these offenses constitutes the Index used for trend calculation purposes. Sweden will be compared with Japan (country with a low crime rate) and USA (country with a high crime rate). According to the INTERPOL data, for murder, the rate in 2001 was 10.01 per 100,000 population for Sweden, 1.10 for Japan, and 5.61 for USA. For rape, the rate in 2001 was 23.39 for Sweden, compared with 1.78 for Japan and 31.77 for USA. For robbery, the rate in 2001 was 95.83 for Sweden, 4.08 for Japan, and 148.50 for USA. For aggravated assault, the rate in 2001 was 667.42 for Sweden, 23.78 for Japan, and 318.55 for USA. For burglary, the rate in 2001 was 1323.90 for Sweden, 233.60 for Japan, and 740.80 for USA. The rate of larceny for 2001 was 6988.81 for Sweden, 1401.26 for Japan, and 2484.64 for USA. The rate for motor vehicle theft in 2001 was 495.21 for Sweden, compared with 44.28 for Japan and 430.64 for USA. The rate for all index offenses combined was 9604.57 for Sweden, compared with 1709.88 for Japan and 4160.51 for USA. (Note that Japan data are for year 2000)

The data reported to INTERPOL make it appear that Sweden is perhaps the most crime ridden country in the world; however, these findings should be tempered by comparison with data reported to the United Nations. In the UN reports, murders are referred to as "intentional homicides." Aggravated assaults are referred to as "major assaults," and larcenies are referred to as "thefts." According to the United Nations Sixth Annual Survey on Crime, crime recorded in police statistics shows the crime rate for the combined total of all Index crimes in Sweden to be 6981.48, per 100,000 inhabitants in 1997. This compares with 1345.94 for Japan (country with a low crime rate) and 4930.06 for USA (country with high crime rate). For intentional homicides, the rate in 1997 was 1.77 for Sweden, 0.54 for Japan, and 6.80 for USA. For major assaults, the rate in 1997 was 37.93 for Sweden, compared with 20.91 for Japan, and 382.31 for USA. For rapes, the rate in 1997 was 14.71 for Sweden, 1.31 for Japan, and 35.93 for USA. For robberies, the rate in 1997 was 75.04 for Sweden, 2.23 for Japan, and 186.27 for USA. For automobile theft, the rate in 1997 was 890.75 for Sweden, 213.49 for Japan, and 505.99 for USA. The rate of burglaries for 1997 was 1664.41 for Sweden, 175.81 for Japan, and 919.35 for USA. The rate for thefts in 1997 was 4296.87 for Sweden, compared with 931.65 for Japan and 2893.41 for USA. It should be observed that the above data reveal that comparatively speaking, Sweden has a low crime rate in regard to murder and major assault, a medium crime rate in regard to rape and robbery, and an exceedingly high rate in regard to property crimes (burglary, larceny, and auto theft). The discrepancies between the data reported to the United Nations for 1997 and those reported to INTERPOL for 2001 are partly explained by Sweden’s peculiar method of reporting murder and assault. Murders reported to INTERPOL included both attempted and completed acts of murder, while "major assaults" included both simple and aggravated assaults. These statistical anomalies for Sweden actually obscure the actual low to moderate rate of the most serious crimes (murder, aggravated assault, rape, and robbery), and this point is important. Sweden actually prioritizes its treatment of crime in the criminal justice system giving priority to the serious crimes, and often diverting property crimes to out of court settlement by the police or prosecutors, often in the form of "day-fines."



Between 1995 and 2001, according to INTERPOL data, the rate of murder increased from 9.00 to 10.01 per 100,000 population, an increase of 11.2%. The rate for rape increased from 19.00 to 23.39, an increase of 23.1%. The rate of robbery increased from 65.00 to 95.83, an increase of 47.4%. The rate for aggravated assault increased from 616.00 to 667.42, an increase of 8.3%. The rate for burglary decreased from 1615.00 to 1323.90, a decrease of 18.0%. The rate of larceny increased from 5861.39 to 6988.81, an increase of 19.2%. (Note: larceny data are from 1996 – not reported for 1995) The rate of motor vehicle theft decreased from 659.00 to 495.21, a decrease of 24.9%. The rate of total index offenses increased from 2983.00 to 2615.76, an increase of 8.6%.

The above findings should be contrasted with those reported by Sweden to the United Nations. According to those findings, between 1995 and 1997 the rate for all recorded Index offenses increased from 6339.51 to 6981.48 per 100,000 in Sweden, an increase of 10.1%. The rate of intentional homicide decreased from 2.04 to 1.77, a decrease of 13.2%. The rate for major assaults decreased from 42.92 to 37.93, a decrease of 11.6%. The rate of rape decreased from 15.43 to 14.71, a decrease of 4.7%. The rate for robberies increased from 65.08 to 75.04 per 100,000, an increase of 15.3%. The rate for automobile theft increased from 790.05 to 890.75, an increase of 11.9%. The rate of burglaries increased from 1614.40 to 1664.41, an increase of 3.1%. Thefts increased from 3803.59 to 4296.87, an increase of 13%. In the UN data, violent crimes murder, major assaults, and rape are going down, while property crimes robbery, burglary, larceny, and auto theft are increasing in Sweden, owed as will be discussed to priorities in the criminal justice system.



The Swedish legal system is accusatorial with a prosecutor representing the state and a defense attorney representing the defendant. However, the majority of crimes and offenses, in particular traffic offenses, are sanctioned by police officers or prosecutors in the form of summary fines.

Primary responsibility for the enforcement of legal rules devolves upon the courts and the various administrative authorities. The general courts enforce civil law and criminal law legislation.

Swedish legislation is based on a strong domestic tradition of Germanic law, but it has also been influenced by foreign law. Swedish law is based to a considerable extent on written law, while case law plays a smaller though important role. The first penal law in Sweden came in 1734. This penal law was replaced in 1864 with a new penal law that was in turn replaced in 1965.



The organization of the police system according to organization and administration report for budget year 1992/1993: The Government and the Ministry of Justice The National Police Board and The National Forensic Laboratory County administrative boards (24), County police commissioners (24), Police authorities and police areas (117). The areas of activity of the National Police Board are: (1)The National Police Board’s central administrative authority, (2)The National Criminal Investigation Department, and (3)The National Police College. The National Police Board is also the governing authority for the National Forensic Laboratory (SKL).

In its role as a central administrative authority it is the task of the National Police Board to communicate the Government’s priorities and guidelines for operation as well as following up and inspecting the police system. The Board should strive for sound methods as well as coordination and rationalization of police work. In its capacity as a central administrative authority, the Board also has the role of service body for the local police organization.

The National Police Board (RPS) manages certain police activities. This applies mainly to serious crime with national or international ramifications. The management of police activities carried on by RPS is performed by the National Criminal Investigation Department. The National Investigation Department also provides reinforcements for local police organizations; reinforcement of other police authorities is around 75% of the National Investigation Department’s operation. It may be a case of providing assistance in investigation work in connection with murder investigations and other serious crimes of violence, drug offenses or organized car theft for export. The National Investigation Department is also responsible for Swedish UN police activities as well as Interpol activities.

The National Forensic Laboratory (SKL) is the central Swedish laboratory for forensic investigations. SKL mainly carries out laboratory investigations when there is suspicion of crime.

The National Police Board is responsible for the activities of the National Police College. The Police College provides basic training of police officers, police management training, advanced courses, contract courses, research and development work. The Security Police report directly to the National Police Commissioner. The security police gather information on situations that may be important for the external or internal safety of the nation and for combating terrorism.

The local police organization is divided into 117 police authorities or police areas. Beginning with the fiscal year 92/93 the funds of the local police organizations will be distributed between 26 secondary budgets, one for each county (24) as well as one for joint requirements and one for crime investigation activities. The overall responsibility for both activities and finances within the county’s police force rests with the county administrative board.

Special areas outside the local organization are the marine police that maintain order and safety at sea. The marine police cooperate with customs and coast guard to guard the frontier and restricted areas. The marine police also assist in rescue assignments. The cost of the operation was SEK 31 millions for fiscal year 92/93.

The activities of the police force as regards aliens consist of basic investigation and exclusion or deportation. Other matters concerning aliens include nationality cases and extension of residence permits. Since 1992 investigations of applications for asylum have been dealt with by the National Immigration Board. Frontier control and airport guarding are, on the other hand, matters for the customs and police.

The Swedish training of police is carried out by the National Police College in Stockholm. There are basically two careers: one for uniformed police officers and one for criminal investigators.

The qualifications for a new police officer recruit includes Swedish citizenship, a high school education, a minimum of one year work experience outside the police, good health and a suitable body for police work, a drivers license, the ability to swim, and having reached the age of 20 by or during the year of application. In August 1994, 5,812 persons applied for police officer training and of these 191 were accepted, 51 of whom were females.

For a position as a criminal investigator a university degree in law is required. In 1991 700 persons applied to the police commissioner training program and 30 were accepted.

The training for police officer recruits is for three years including 10 months basic training at the police college, followed by 18 months as a trainee at one of the 117 police districts, and concluded with five months final training at the police college.

The training for police commissioner recruits lasts three years and includes theoretical studies at the Police College covering police work, analysis and planning, administration and workplace psychology. It also entails working as a trainee in all areas of the criminal justice system including the police, courts and prosecutors.

One of the powers of police officers in accordance with the Police Act, is use of force. A policeman may, to the extent other means are inadequate and when defensible in the circumstances, use force to carry out an action in the course of his duty, if (1) he is faced with violence or threat of violence, (2) someone who is to be detained, arrested or otherwise deprived of his freedom with the support of the law tries to escape or the policeman is otherwise faced with resistance when he is to deprive a person of freedom in this manner (3) it is a question of warding off a punishable act or danger to life, health or valuable property or extensive damage to the environment, (4) a policeman, with the support of the law, is to expel or remove a person from a certain area or space or execute or assist in a personal search or other similar measure in connection with confiscation or other retention of property or in connection with the type of search referred to in the Code of Judicial Procedure, (5) the policeman must in some other manner and with the support of the law gain access to, cordon off, seal, or evacuate a building, room or area, assist someone in the exercise of authority by means of such an action or a similar one or in the case of foreclosure, in accordance with procedure, or (6) the measure, in another case, is unavoidably necessary for maintenance of general order or safety and it is obvious that this cannot be carried out without force(1984:387).

Any person, who on probable grounds, is suspected of a crime for which one years’ imprisonment or more is prescribed, may be detained if, taking into account the nature of the crime, the situation of the suspect or some other circumstance, there is a risk that he will abscond or otherwise evade legal proceedings, remove evidence or hinder the investigation, or continue his criminal activity. Suspects cannot be detained for crimes for which it is assumed that the suspect will be sentenced to pay a fine, other than in special cases, such as the suspect refusing to give his name, giving a false name or having no residence in the country and where it may be assumed that he might leave the country. An unknown person who it may be assumed is wanted by the police may be taken in for identification. The Code of Judicial Procedure chapter 24 is the source of this information.

When a policeman receives information about a crime that falls under general prosecution, he must submit a report on this to his supervisor as soon as possible. A policeman may grant report concession in certain cases in accordance with rules announced by the Government. This applies in the first place to crimes where the sanctions would be no harsher than fines and the crime is of an insignificant character.

Searches may take place if it may be suspected that a crime has been committed for which one year’s imprisonment may be the punishment and objects are to be searched for that are to be confiscated or otherwise used in the investigation. The search is announced by the head of investigation, the prosecutor or the court. A policeman may undertake a search without a decision as above, if there is danger. A policeman may also perform a body search of the suspect if 1) crime has been committed that may lead to imprisonment, or 2) an object may be confiscated which may have significance for the investigation. A body search may take place if it may be assumed that the suspect possesses weapons or other dangerous objects, or in order to confirm his identity. For specific statutory guidelines see the Code of Judicial Procedure, chapter 28.

Confession is never binding. All alleged offenders must stand trial.

If there is a complaint about the police, it is reported to a police authority. The matter is investigated not by the police but is transferred to the office of the public prosecutor for investigation. If the matter is not considered to be a crime, it goes back to the police authority where the personnel disciplinary board decides whether disciplinary action is to be taken.

In the Stockholm police district the Section for Internal Investigations (CU), investigates reports that are directed against employees at the police authorities in Stockholm County, Gotland County and the National Police Board. The investigations are led by chief prosecutors at the Regional Prosecuting Authority in Stockholm and the prosecuting authority in Stockholm. The CU also deals with issues concerning suspension and dismissal of employees of the police authorities in Stockholm County; it consists of one chief superintendent, nine superintendents and eight administrative employees.

In 1993 a total of 1,048 reports were recorded against employees of the police authorities in Stockholm County. Of these 162 were reports of ill treatment. During this period just under 40,000 persons were deprived of their freedom in accordance with the investigative routine. Recently the Stockholm police have been trying out a system of citizen witnesses, i.e. laymen who observe work at the police station.

As of year 2001, the Government maintains effective control of the police, all security organizations, and the armed forces.  The police provide internal security and the military provide external security.  There were no reports of the arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life committed by the Government or its agents during the year.

In June 2000, a police officer was charged with breach of duty, serious ill treatment, and causing the death of another in a March incident in which he shot a fleeing suspect.  In October the policeman was sentenced to 18 months in prison; he was fired in November.  Also in June 2000, a prison escapee died after being caught and restrained by four prison guards.  The guards were suspended pending the results of a police investigation into the death.  One guard was charged with manslaughter and was awaiting trial at year's end. 

In June 2000, the Minister of Justice decided to appoint a commission of inquiry to look into past deaths in custody in order to propose safeguards.  NGO's remained very interested in such cases. 

In year 2001, there were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.

The law prohibits such practices; however, there were infrequent complaints of the use of excessive force by the police, although there is no evidence of a systemic problem.  Police officers found guilty of abuse typically were suspended, resigned, or otherwise were disciplined.

Violent clashes between police and protesters at some demonstrations in Malmo and Gothenberg during the year resulted in some injuries and complaints of excessive police violence.  Investigations were ongoing at year's end. 

Skinhead and neo-Nazi related violence increased during the year 2001.

The Constitution prohibits such actions, and the Government generally respects these prohibitions in practice.  The law limits home searches to investigations of major crimes punishable by at least 2 years' imprisonment, and the authorities generally respect this provision.  In general the police must obtain court approval for a wiretap and a prosecutor's permission for a search; however, a senior police official may approve a search if time is a critical factor or the case involves a threat to life.  The national police and the Prosecutor General's Office submit a report to Parliament each year detailing all of the electronic monitoring done during the previous year. 

In 2000 the Minister of Justice presented a proposal to expand the use of police listening devices and other electronic surveillance.  According to the proposal, listening devices and other electronic surveillance would be allowed only if serious drug crimes or serious crimes that would result in at least 4 years' imprisonment were suspected.  Under continued pressure from NGO's, the Government continued to rework its proposal. 

Under the country's pre-1976 practice of forced sterilization thousands of persons were forcibly sterilized between 1934-76.  The majority of those sterilized were persons with mental or physical disabilities.  In 1999 Parliament decided to pay damages of approximately $21,000 (219,905 CHF) to each victim.  By October 2000, 1,925 persons had applied for compensation.  By year's end, 2,067 persons had applied for compensation, and approximately 1,566 had received payment.  The Government allocated additional resources to pay compensation since the number of applicants far exceeded expectations.



As of year 2001, the Constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, and the Government generally observes these prohibitions.  The law requires warrants for arrests.  The police must file charges within 6 hours against persons detained for disturbing the public order or considered dangerous and within 12 hours against those detained on other grounds.  The law requires arraignment within 48 hours.  The time between arrest and the first court hearing may be extended to 96 hours for detainees considered dangerous, likely to destroy evidence, or likely to flee.  In cases involving more than one individual and in the case of foreigners, courts may order continued detention for 2 weeks at a time while the police conduct investigations.  Such detentions can be protracted, particularly in drug cases.  Detainees routinely are released pending trial unless they are considered dangerous.  Bail does not exist.  If a person files for bankruptcy and refuses to cooperate with an official investigation, a court may order detention for up to 3 months, with judicial review every 2 weeks.

The Constitution prohibits forced exile, and the Government does not employ it. 



It is the task of the prosecutor to prove that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The accused do not need to prove that they are innocent. There are no jury trials. A decision to prosecute cannot be taken unless the suspect and his counsel has been informed of the suspicion and have had an opportunity to read and comment on the records as long as this can be done without harming the investigation.

The accused are initially tried by a panel of a professional judge, who always is a trained jurist or lawyer, and three or five lay judges. In higher courts all panels consist of professional judges.

If necessary the court is required to ensure that the accused is provided with the assistance of a public defense counsel. Such a counsel is appointed by the court. Counsel for the defense must be a trained lawyer and a member of the Swedish Bar Association and is remunerated for his assistance to the defendant out of public funds. However, if the defendant is well off, he or she may be ordered to pay these costs if convicted. The defendant may, if he or she wishes, appoint a private counsel. There is no requirement that private counsel have legal training.

The basic prosecutorial and judicial process can be described in the following stages. If there are reasons to believe that a criminal offense under public prosecution has been committed, a pre-trial investigation should be initiated to find out who is reasonably suspected of the crime and if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute him or her. The police or the public prosecutor initiate the pre-trial investigation. During the investigation every fact must be taken into consideration, whether it is in a suspect’s favor or against. Normally the police carry out the pre-trial investigation, but, as soon as someone is reasonably suspected of the crime, the prosecutor takes over the case. However, the prosecutor has the right to assume control of the case at any stage in the pre-trial investigation if it is deemed advisable.

When the pre-trial investigation has been completed the public prosecutor decides whether to press charges or not. It is the prosecutor’s duty to prosecute everyone who is reasonably suspected of having committed a crime and the prosecutor’s judgement is that there is enough evidence to expect the court to find the suspect guilty.

Exceptions will often be made for juvenile offenders but in these cases, before a waiver of prosecution, the prosecutor is normally required to get in touch with the social welfare authorities and see to it that appropriate action will be taken. Also, for less serious offenses the prosecutor may decide, if the offender agrees to this, that the case will be resolved by a summary fine and not taken to trial. There is no plea bargaining and the accused cannot plead guilty to a lesser offence.

Since there is no plea bargaining, all persons prosecuted for a crime that carries a prison sentence must stand trial.

The public prosecutor decides whether a suspect is to be kept under arrest. Twelve hours is the maximum period for which a suspect can be held without a warrant of arrest. The statuary maximum time for arrest is 48 hours. A request for a pre-trial detention order is normally made the same day as the arrest but in extreme cases this time may be extended to, but no longer than, the third day after the arrest.

Decisions to retain a person in detention are made by the court after hearing the issue at hand; the suspect, his counsel and the prosecutor are all present at this hearing. Normally, following a request for pre-trial detention, the court should, on the same day hold a session to decide on detention but never more than four days should pass from the day the suspect was arrested. If the court decides to remand someone in custody it shall at the same time set a date on which the person shall be presented to the court.

A person can be detained only if he or she is suspected of an offense punishable by imprisonment for a year or more and it is likely that he or she will either flee or destroy evidence. An exception can be made to these requirements for detention if the suspect is not domiciled in Sweden and there is a risk that he or she will flee the country.

Sweden has no bail.

Sweden has a three-tiered hierarchy of general courts; the district courts, the courts of appeal and the Supreme Court. Appeals against judgements of district courts can normally be carried to a court of appeal. Appeals against the decision of courts of appeal can be carried to the Supreme Court. However, the possibility of having an appeal heard in the Supreme Court is subject to special permission, such permission being given only if it is important for enforcement of the law that the appeal should be heard by the Supreme Court.

In addition to the general courts there are administrative courts including the Supreme Administrative Court, the Administrative Courts of Appeal, the County Administrative Courts, the Labor Court, the Market Court and the Rent and Leasehold Tribunals.

The majority of cases are resolved by

summary sentences and fines.

The sentence is determined by the court upon a finding of guilt. After the main hearing involving the presentation of the case, questioning of the suspect and witnesses, the court holds private discussions to consider the aggravating and mitigating circumstances. This discussion leads to a final decision on the case. The decision must be based only on facts that come to light at the main hearing. In general the decision and punishment or other sanctions are announced directly after the discussions.

The prosecutor may decide on special measures before the case comes to court; for example, that the social services should deal with the case. In cases where the suspect may be assumed to be mentally disturbed, the court decides whether he should undergo examination by a forensic psychiatrist. If the examination reveals mental disorder, the court may choose to sentence the defendant to psychiatric treatment, with or without special consideration of discharge. Children and young people, addicts and mentally disturbed perpetrators may be handed over for special treatment.

The Criminal Code lists the punishments and other sanctions a court may prescribe in a sentence. The term "punishment" refers to fines and imprisonment and the term "other consequences" refers mainly to suspended sentences, probation or special treatment.

Imprisonment may be prescribed for a specific period, from 14 days to 10 years. Longer sentences of up to 16 years may be imposed for several crimes. Life imprisonment is usually converted to a specific length of punishment of around 14-16 years.

The sanction is determined on several different bases. The seriousness of the crime, and the age and mental state of the perpetrator are all factors that are important. One general principle is that imprisonment should be avoided as far as possible. Thus, it is not possible in any unified manner to say that the normal punishment for a certain crime is a certain type of sanction; more serious forms of crime lead to more severe punishment. These are the punishments meted out depending on the severity of the crime: Conditional release usually takes place now after 2/3 of the sentence has been served. Between 1 July 1983 and 1 July 1993 general conditional release after half the sentence had been served applied. Persons under 18 may not be sentenced to imprisonment in other than exceptional cases.

Psychiatric treatment is prescribed for crimes for which the sanction must be more severe than a fine and the defendant is suffering from a serious mental disorder.

Probation may be prescribed for crimes for which the sanction must be more severe than a fine. Probation may be combined with special regulations such as contract care or community service program.

Conditional sentences may be prescribed for crimes for which the sanction must be more severe than a fine. A conditional sentence may be perceived as a conditional concession with a trial period of two years. The main rule now is that this sanction should be combined with a fine. A person who at the time of sentencing is under 21 years may be placed in the care of the social services. This sanction may be combined with a fine.

A person may be sentenced to treatment under the Care of Alcoholics and Drug Abusers Act if the crime would not lead to more severe punishment than one year’s imprisonment. The person sentenced must be a drug abuser to the extent that he is a danger to himself or a close relative. Day-fines are calculated on the basis of how serious the crime is and the financial situation of the guilty party. Day-fines are prescribed by number and magnitude. The number must be no less than 30 and no more than 150 or, as joint punishment for several crimes, a maximum of 200. The size of the day-fine varies according to the financial situation of the defendant and varies between 30 SEK and 1,000 SEK.

Monetary fines are set at a minimum of 100 and a maximum of 2,000 SEK. The fine is used primarily for less serious forms of crime, e.g. traffic offenses.

The Prosecutor-General, and the National Police Board decide which crimes lead to on-the-spot fines. The fines are imposed directly by the police and the maximum fine is 1,200 SEK.

Standardized crimes are determined on a very special basis and are used a few times a year (around 20)

exclusively for crimes against the

In order of summary punishment is a form of fine that is issued by the prosecutor without court proceedings, usually for simpler forms of crime that would lead to a fine or in certain cases six months imprisonment. This sanction requires that the defendant approves the order, i.e. admits to the crime.

The prosecutor may decide not to prosecute a person even though he has committed a crime. This sanction is used primarily for young people (under 18) and in certain cases for drug abusers if they agree to treatment instead. If a person is already under supervision and commits more (minor) crimes, the prosecutor may decide not to prosecute if the sanction would be the same as what has already been imposed.

Forfeiture means that property falls to the state if it relates to profits of crime, tools of crime or objects produced by means of crime, e.g. forged bank notes. Instead of the property, its value may be declared forfeited. Expulsion means that a person who is not a Swedish national is forced to leave the country and is forbidden to return. If the guilty party has caused personal injury or destroyed property, he may be liable to pay damages to the plaintiff. In the case of serious traffic offenses or repeated minor traffic offenses, the guilty party’s driving license may be withdrawn. Decisions on withdrawal of driving license are announced by the county administrative court not the district court.

Use of various sanctions in 1993 is shown in the table below. Usually a person brought to court has one sanction imposed on him. In 82% of all court cases in 1993, sanctions were decided on.

Sanctions included prison (15,872), psychiatric treatment (372), probation (6,274), conditional sentence

(11,916), treatment within the social services (1,480), and fines (111,560).

The death penalty was abolished in Sweden in 1921 for peace time and in 1973 also for war time.

As of year 2001, the Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, and the Government generally respects this provision in practice.

The judicial system is composed of three levels of courts:  District courts; a court of appeals; and a Supreme Court.  All criminal and civil cases are heard first in district court regardless of the severity of the alleged crime. 

The Constitution provides for the right to a fair trial, and an independent judiciary generally enforces this right with vigor.  Trials are public.  Defendants have the right to appeal and are presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

There were no reports of political prisoners.



There are 77 Swedish prisons which are divided into national and local prisons. The national prisons mainly receive people with prison sentences of at least one year or who require extra security. The national prisons also include some that are high-security. The local institutions are primarily for those with prison sentences of up to one year although those with longer sentences are often transferred to local prison at the end of their prison term. As of July 1, 1994 the following number of prisons and prison beds applied.

In addition to these prisons there are also a number of remand prisons.

The average number of prisoners for the fiscal year 1992/1993 was 3,830. The number of annual admissions for the year 1992 was 13,836. As of March 1, 1993, 26.8 % of the prisoners were foreign citizens and 5% were female. Actual or estimated proportion of inmates incarcerated. Annual admissions for various crimes include

violent crimes 2,368 (17.1%), sex crimes 270 (2.0%), property crimes 3,139 (22.7%), robbery 417 (3.0%), fraud 1,139 (8.2%), drunken driving 2,562 (18.5%), other traffic 532 (3.8%), drug offenses 1,298 (9.4%), other 2,111 (15.3%).

All Swedish prisons are state prisons.

The requirement for prison guard recruits is that they either have at least two years of high school education or that they are at least 26 years of age and have four years of work experience. In addition they are required to have at least two years of high school training in English, Swedish and Social Science. Appointment decisions are based on personal interviews.

The annual average number of prisoners awaiting trial in the fiscal year 1992/1993 was 1,058.

A person who is suspected, accused or found guilty of a punishable act by a foreign state and is staying in Sweden may, by government decision, be extradited to that state in accordance with the act 1957:668. According to this act, the crime must have been perpetrated wholly or partly in Sweden. The act must be equivalent to a crime for which Swedish law prescribes at least one year’s imprisonment. Swedish nationals may not be extradited, nor may persons who have committed political crimes or who risk being subject to persecution owing to political or religious affiliation.

Within the Nordic countries special agreements apply. Swedish citizens may under certain circumstances be extradited to another Nordic country in accordance with act 1959:254 and for political crimes if the act has any equivalent in Swedish law.

As of year 2001, prison conditions generally met international standards.  Men and women prisoners are held separately.  Juveniles are held separately from adults and convicted criminals and pretrial detainees are held separately. 

The Government permits visits by independent human rights monitors, although there were no such visits during the year.



Violence against women was a problem. During the year 20,382 reported cases of assault against women (excluding rape) were reported, compared with 20,517 in 2000.  Most involved spousal abuse.  In three-quarters of the assaults, the perpetrator was an acquaintance of the victim.  On average 33 murders of women and girls are reported each year, half of them by men closely related to the victim.  During the year the number of reported rapes of persons over age 15 was 2,078, compared with 1,724 in 2000.  The law does not differentiate between spousal and nonspousal rape.  In 2000 4,825 cases of violence against women were prosecuted, as were 339 rape cases, 280 of which were sexual assaults on persons over age 15. 

The Government has longstanding programs to deal with violence against women.  The law provides complainants with protection from contact with their abusers, if so desired.  In some cases, the authorities help women obtain new identities and homes.  The Government provides electronic alarms or bodyguards for women in extreme danger of assault.  Both national and local governments help fund volunteer groups that provide shelter and other assistance to abused women, and both private and public organizations run shelters.  There is a hot line for victims of crime, and police are trained to deal with violence against women.  The authorities strive to apprehend and prosecute abusers.  Typically the sentence for abuse is a prison term--14 months on average--or psychiatric treatment.  However, women complain about short sentences and the early release of offenders.

Trafficking in women for purposes of sexual exploitation continued to be a problem.  The purchase or attempted purchase of sexual services is illegal.

The law prohibits sexual harassment and specifies clearly employers' responsibilities to prevent and, if applicable, to investigate sexual harassment in the workplace and to formulate and post a specific policy and guidelines for the workplace.  Employers who do not investigate and intervene against harassment at work may be obliged to pay damages to the victim.  As with other forms of discrimination, women and men may take complaints to the courts or to their unions.  To combat gender discrimination in the long term, the Equal Opportunities Act requires all employers, both in the public and private sector, actively to promote equal opportunities for women and men in the workplace.

The law requires employers to treat men and women alike in hiring, promotion, and pay, including equal pay for comparable work.  According to 1999 statistics, women's salaries were 83 percent of men's salaries.  Adjusting for age, education, and occupational differences between men and women, women salaries average 92 percent of men's salaries.  The Equal Opportunity Ombudsman, a public official, investigates complaints of gender discrimination in the labor market.  Women and men also may pursue complaints through the courts.  A third option, and by far the most common, involves settling allegations with the employee's labor union as mediator.  In 2000 gender discrimination cases by 102 women and 18 men were registered with the equal opportunity Ombudsman; these cases were being processed at year's end.

All employers with more than 10 employees must prepare an annual equality plan, including a survey of pay differences between male and female employees.  The equal opportunity Ombudsman reviews these plans.  During the year, the law was amended to require from every employer a survey made with a union representative analyzing wage differences.  If gender is found to be the cause for a difference in salary, pay must be equalized within 3 years.

In 2000 the Government began to pay damages to the thousands of women who were forcibly sterilized between 1934-76.



The Government is committed strongly to children's rights and welfare; it amply funds systems of public education and medical care.  The Government provides compulsory, free, and universal primary school education for children for 9 years to the age of 16.  It also provides free medical and dental care for all children up to the age of 16 (19 for dental care).  Parents receive approximately $1,000 per year for each child under 16 years of age.  An official children's Ombudsman monitors the Government's programs.

Although the physical abuse of children appears relatively uncommon, the public and authorities remained concerned by consistent data indicating an increase in cases of abuse over the past several years.  During the year the number of reported cases of abuse of children under the age of 15 rose to approximately 6,900, up from 6,600 in 2000. In addition to 327 reported cases of rape, there were 2,480 reported cases of sexual abuse of children under the age of 15 during the year.  There were 2,461 reported cases of child sexual abuse and 300 reported cases of rape in 2000.  The U.N. Children's Committee criticized the Government in 1998, stating that it provided less protection for the children of immigrant and disadvantaged groups.  On March 29, the Government reached an agreement whereby children of illegal immigrants receive dental and health care identical to that provided to other children.

The law prohibits parents or other caretakers from abusing children mentally or physically in any way.  Parents, teachers, and other adults are subject to prosecution if they physically punish a child, including slapping or spanking.  Children have the right to report such abuses to the police.  The authorities generally respect these laws, and the usual sentence is a fine combined with counseling and monitoring by social workers.  However, if the situation warrants, authorities may remove children from their homes and place them in foster care.  Foster parents virtually never receive permission to adopt long-term foster children, even in cases where the parents are seen as unfit or seek no contact with the child.  Critics charge that this policy places the rights of biological parents over the needs of children for security in permanent family situations.

The Government allocates funds to private organizations concerned with children's rights.  An NGO, Children's Rights in Society, offers counseling to troubled youngsters.  The Government remained active internationally in efforts to prevent child abuse.



The law does not prohibit specifically trafficking in persons, although traffickers are prosecuted under other statutes; however, women were trafficked to the country for prostitution and sexual exploitation. 

Trafficked women in past cases, numbering 200 to 500 per year, came principally from Central Europe, the Baltic states, and Russia.  There have been occasional cases of trafficked women from Colombia and Cuba.  The women typically are recruited in their own countries to come and work as cleaners, babysitters, or similar employment.  Once in Sweden, victims are isolated and intimidated by traffickers, and work as prostitutes in hotels, restaurants, massage parlors, or private apartments.  Some reportedly were "purchased" from other traffickers and brought into Sweden.  A 1998 report suggests that the problem of trafficking is more widespread than the few prosecutions indicate.

The purchase or attempt at purchasing sexual services is illegal.  Law enforcement primarily uses laws against pandering and an offense called "placing in distress," which can be used in cases where traffickers lure women from other countries under false pretenses.  Traffickers sentenced for pandering can face up to 6 years in prison, but most sentences are for 2 to 3 years.  The Government prosecuted 11 cases against traffickers in 1998-99, which resulted in 6 convictions.  All of the accused traffickers were Swedish residents with family and personal ties to Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Trafficked women in general do not receive temporary residence permits; in some cases they are deported immediately.  Victims of trafficking rarely are detained; however, at times they are held for a short period prior to deportation by the police or in a camp run by the Migration Board.  The Government provides funding to NGO's and international organizations that combat trafficking worldwide.  For example, the Government provides funds to the Foundation of Women's Forums to combat trafficking in women in the Nordic and Baltic nations by creating interactive networks that link NGO's and research institutions that deal with prevention and the rehabilitation of trafficked women.



Sweden is not a principal illicit drug production or trafficking country. Sweden is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. It retains its zero tolerance policy and opposes any liberalization trends both in Europe and in Sweden. General McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), visited Stockholm as the first stop on a European tour in July 1998 to show U.S. support for Sweden's zero tolerance policy. Currently, Swedish authorities are concerned about increasing brown heroin smoke abuse among first and second generation immigrant youth and changing attitudes among the young who seem more willing to experiment with drugs. There is also concern about young people using ecstasy and about increasing use of rohypnol (flunitrazepam) together with, e.g., alcohol which can result in violence, "black-outs" and even death. Drugs from Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States (NIS) remain a real problem for Swedish law enforcement. The diversion of precursor chemicals and money laundering activity remain relatively minor problems. In 1998, Sweden continued its co-operation in international fora, e.g., in the EU and with the Baltic nations to combat drug trafficking and money laundering.

Sweden maintains its very restrictive policy towards illicit drugs. Sweden is not now nor likely in the future to become a significant country for drug production, transit, money laundering or precursor chemicals.

Amphetamine and cannabis/hashish remain the most frequently abused drugs. Police report that indoor cultivation of cannabis, although small-scale, seems to be increasing. There has been a marked increase of heroin seized, particularly brown heroin (smoked) seems to have caught on among first and second generation immigrant youth. Ecstasy is used by some of the young middle-class (ages 15-20) at nightspots and large rave parties in major cities and sometimes in smaller towns.

In 1998, the number of amphetamine seizures was about equal to the number of cannabis/hashish seizures. Smaller quantities of cocaine and LSD are also used. Very young abusers, often together with alcohol or cannabis or to increase the effect of heroin, use Rohypnol (flunitrazepam), often made in the Czech Republic. Persons who want to counter withdrawal symptoms from heroin, amphetamine or ecstasy also use it. There is also illegal diversion of legally prescribed rohypnol. Despite the increase in this abuse, the Swedish medical products agency has not yet changed rohypnol's classification to schedule 2 (1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Drugs).

The government worries about new attitudes and more experimentation with drugs among the young from all socio-economic groups, who travel widely and get information and misinformation and legal and illegal products through internet. There is also growing concern about the increasing use of synthetic drugs among "fast track" groups. No one in Sweden knows how many "functional addicts" there are.

The steroid GHB (Gamma-Hydroid-Butarat) is abused instead of liquor by some in Sweden. The use of a substance in the fungus psilocybe semilanceata is also beginning to occur in Sweden. The Government of Sweden (GOS) continues its consensus-based, traditional, strict counter-narcotics approach to drug control issues. A November 1998 Swedish Institute for Opinion Research (SIFO) telephone poll of 1,000 Swedes shows that 96 percent of adult Swedes want stronger actions by the government to stop drug abuse, 95 percent are of the opinion that using drugs should continue to be illegal.

The Swedish National Institute for Public Health continues to advocate a healthy lifestyle to prevent drug abuse; it also subsidizes drug use prevention programs in the private sector.

The latest GOS nationwide study, published in 1993, indicated that there were 14,000-20,000 daily drug users in Sweden in 1992 (about 2 percent of the total population). Swedish authorities believe the number of hard-core daily users may have increased somewhat in the 1990s, and smaller studies suggest that weekend use among the young is increasing. In 1995, the Swedish council for information on alcohol and other drugs (CAN) initiated a major investigation called ESPAD, the European school survey project on alcohol and other drugs, comprising 15-16-year-olds in 26 nations. The result, published in November 1997, shows that cannabis is the most prevalent drug. The survey also puts Sweden far down the list with six percent of those surveyed ever having tried a drug (compared to the U.K. and Ireland with 40 percent, the Czech Republic with 22, Italy with 19 and Denmark with 17 percent). This study also shows that one percent of Swedish youth used drugs during a 30-day period (compared to 29 percent in the U.K., 25 in Ireland, 13 percent in Italy, etc.).

The GOS monitors imports and exports of all precursor and essential chemicals. The Swedish Medical Products Agency is responsible for precursor and essential chemical controls. In 1998, work continued on a joint program between the police, the customs, and the medical products agency to create a national network of contact persons dealing with precursors. The idea is also to train trainers within enforcement to spread knowledge about precursors and to hold seminars on the potential threat of precursors. With EU funding, such a seminar was held in 1998 with participants from the major chemical companies in Sweden, as a starting point for work towards MOU agreements on voluntary cooperation.

The Swedish police and customs maintain a cooperative, informal relationship with authorities in many countries to control drug trafficking. Swedish customs and police officials continue to train Baltic authorities in drug trafficking intelligence work and investigation methods. They are using $2 million annually from a 1991 multi-year program of $8.5 million to assist Baltic nations, Poland and the St. Petersburg area with various projects, such as building criminal surveillance centers, and providing technical assistance for controlling borders. The program also gives training through the Nordic Baltic police academy, including forensic training, special forces training, and advanced narcotics training.

In May 1996, the heads of governments of the Baltic Sea nations established a task force on organized crime in the Baltic Sea region to combat the increasing levels of organized crime, including inter alia drug trafficking and money laundering. The task force consists of personal representatives of these government heads and is chaired by Sweden. In 1997-98, 11 joint operations were carried out. The task force secretariat is located at the Ministry of Justice in Stockholm. A special U.S. law enforcement point of contact has been established with the Department of Justice's legal representative in Brussels.

Within the framework of the Nordic council there are expanded activities. The Nordic and Baltic ministers responsible for narcotics policy issues met in Stockholm in May 1998 and initiated cooperation in, e.g., promoting a drug free life style and providing necessary resources for drug treatment and rehabilitation.

Sweden participates in a number of international anti-drug fora, including the UN commission on narcotic drugs, the UN Drug Control Program (UNDCP), and the Dublin group. Sweden has the chairmanship of the regional Dublin group in Africa for 1998-99 and contributes SEK 2 million (about $0.25 million) to the UNDCP "drug nexus study" in Africa. During 1998, Sweden continued actively to promote improvement of multilateral anti-drug activities in UNDCP. Sweden remains dedicated to work for UNDCP reform. According to the Swedish ministry for foreign affairs, Sweden as one of the major donors gave approximately SEK 32 million (about $4.2 million) in FY-97 contributions to the UNDCP. The 1998 contribution will be SEK 35 million (approximately $4.375 million) and the 1999 pledge is also SEK 35 million.

During 1997-98, Sweden completed its informal preparatory work for the 1998 UNGA special session on drugs by holding a series of four seminars in Sweden. In May 1998, Mexico, Portugal and Sweden held an international symposium in Stockholm. The government set aside SEK 3 million (about $0.4 million) for this. SIDA, the Swedish international development authority, was given SEK 10 million (about $1.4 million) in 1996 for a two-year-project for work against drugs in the developing world (drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation and some drug control projects). In FY-97, Sweden's contribution to the UN World Health Organization's substance abuse program was about SEK 3 million (about $0.4 million) and in 1998, SEK one million (about $0.125 million).

Sweden continues to work in many different ways within the EU to combat drug abuse. In 1998, the national police kept up its work, partly financed by EU funds, on a Northern European amphetamine project that aims to map out the area's drug flow and couriers, then the criminal groups, and then the labs. This program will be evaluated in 1999. Sweden also participates in the EU's early warning system for new synthetic drugs.

European Cities Against Drugs (ECAD), an alliance of major cities that espouses zero tolerance policies and no liberalization, is a growing Europe-wide movement founded in Sweden in 1994. The alliance maintains its secretariat in Stockholm. During 1997, this organization expanded its work also to cities in Eastern Europe. In May 1998, ECAD held a conference, "world cities against drugs", in Stockholm with top-level, international attendance including Herbert Okun, the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and in November 1998, hosted "the European Union policy against drugs, now and in the future", in the European parliament. Currently, 184 cities or municipalities in 30 countries in Europe are members of ECAD.

In May 1998 the Swedish government appointed a national narcotics commission to conduct a broad-based evaluation of its drug policy since the mid-80s and to propose ways to strengthen it. Work has begun, and this task is to be concluded in the year 2000.

The GOS is proposing to Parliament legislation to make punishable driving under the influence of narcotics or certain medical drugs. Another proposal seeks to ban products that are deemed hazardous to a person's health. Like other nations, Sweden faces the growing problem of designer drugs. To combat their proliferation, the ministry of health and social affairs wants to replace in current legislation the criterion "strongly habit-forming" with "dependence-creating qualities or euphoria-creating effects". The latter would be an easier-to-establish criterion, which the ministry hopes will speed up investigations and thus decisions regarding new designer drugs.

Sweden, for many years lacked statistics on drug-related deaths. To satisfy EU demands, it is now taking steps to be able to report to the Lisbon monitoring center annually. Approximate figures for 1996 were 250 drug-related deaths nationwide, of which about 33 were cases of overdose (1995 figures were 194 and 40). Governmental institutes for forensic medicine are now instructed to report any narcotics findings. Customs' new access to flight booking computers has resulted in more seizures.

With its accession to the EU on January 1, 1995, Sweden began a closer, more formal collaboration with law enforcement and judicial authorities of its EU partners. Accordingly, the GOS passed police and customs controls legislation in 1995. Swedish customs officers continue to patrol Sweden's borders with EU countries and to inspect persons and goods when they have reason. However, with EU accession, Sweden in 1995 downsized its force of customs officers by 750 positions, a reduction of 25 percent.

A new law has come into force in 1998 giving Swedish customs increased authority to control alcohol- and tobacco-transporting vehicles also inside Sweden. Customs has several agreements with business groups, e.g., in the transportation sector, for mutual assistance aimed at stopping drug trafficking. Within EU councils, Sweden continues to advocate zero tolerance policies.

In 1998, no Swedish police liaison officers were sent to new posts abroad. However, Swedish customs assigned an officer to a new post in Riga, Latvia. Swedish police and customs drug liaison officers are still located in Paris, St. Petersburg, Bangkok, Athens, Copenhagen, The Hague, London, Warsaw, Tallinn, Riga, Bonn, Budapest, and Moscow. Sweden has both a customs and a police officer in Europol in The Hague; there is one Swedish policeman at Interpol in Lyon.

Sweden is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and is fully meeting the convention's goals and objectives. Sweden also is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Extradition between the U.S. and Sweden is governed by a 1961 convention and a 1983 supplementary convention.

Sweden has bilateral customs agreements with the United States, Germany, The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, France, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Spain, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, and The Czech Republic. In 1998, a similar agreement with Slovakia entered into force. In 1997, the Swedish and Russian governments agreed on cooperation between the Russian federal tax police service and Swedish police and customs (two agreements). Sweden cooperates with the United States under a 1984 extradition treaty. In addition, Sweden is a party to the World Customs Organization's International Convention, on Mutual Administrative Assistance for the Prevention, Investigation, and Repression of Customs Offenses (Nairobi Convention) Annex x on Assistance in Narcotics Cases.

Swedish law enforcement authorities are effective. In 1998 the total number of police and seizures of illicit substances was 15,199. The drug most often seized was cannabis (5,060 seizures totaling 496 kilograms). The second most common was amphetamines (4,775 seizures totaling 134 kilograms). In 1998, Swedish customs and police seized 70.9 kilograms of heroin in 1,285 of cocaine in 172 seizures. There were 104 seizures, of ecstasy totaling 21,273 tablets.

Corruption is very rare and, when discovered, consistently punished. Anti-corruption laws effectively deter public officials from engaging in the illicit production or distribution of drugs, and in the laundering of drug money.

No illicit drugs are known to be cultivated or produced in significant amounts in Sweden, but there seems to be a trend towards increasing numbers of people cultivating cannabis at home, using seeds bought through the internet. Two Swedish amphetamine labs were found and destroyed in 1998.

In 1998, Sweden remained a destination point for synthetic drugs entering most often through the Netherlands or Germany and Denmark, originally produced in Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium, The Czech Republic and the Baltic nations, as well as for cocaine from South America. Drugs enter the country concealed in commercial goods, overland, by mail, by air, and by ferry. Authorities are now particularly concerned about the increase in brown heroin seized. The Netherlands remain the source for approximately half of all amphetamines seized, but substantial amounts of amphetamines originate in Poland, The Czech Republic, and, possibly, the Baltics.

Police, customs, and the Social Ministry regard brown heroin as the most rapidly spreading drug at present, especially smoked by young immigrants, first and second generation, some of whom are using both brown heroin and cocaine. There is no street sale of crack in Sweden.

Almost all ecstasy seized originates from The Netherlands. About 90 percent of all cannabis seized in Sweden originates from Morocco and enters through Spain or The Netherlands. Pakistani brown heroin often is smuggled in by ethnic Albanians from Kosovo and FYROM through the Czech Republic or Slovakia, via Germany and Denmark, by ferry to Sweden. There is a marked increase in larger seizures of heroin. Cocaine still is most often smuggled into Sweden by passengers flying in from South America, via EU airports. There are also criminal groups from Eastern Europe involved as well. Smuggling, mainly for and by Somalians, is increasing considerably.

Once in Sweden, few drugs are transported to other countries. In 1998, law enforcement officials in Sweden did not discover drugs intended for the United States.

The Swedish National Institute of Public Health coordinates all drug preventive efforts. It is starting a major campaign involving parents, school staff, youth leaders, celebrities in the world of music, fashion, and media, as well as business leaders to "inoculate" as many 13-19 year olds as possible against drugs. Full-page ads in business papers appeal to adults to be positive role models against drugs. The dissemination of information on the dangers of drug abuse is compulsory in Swedish schools. Political, religious, sports, and other organizations continue to receive government subsidies to implement information and activity programs aimed at educating youth and parents on the dangers of drug abuse. Various private organizations also are active in drug abuse prevention and public information programs. Opinion polls a few years ago show a more tolerant attitude to drugs among the young, especially to cannabis and ecstasy.

The GOS emphasizes drug abuse prevention combined with restrictive drug policy, enforcement measures, and drug rehabilitation. For example, to combat ecstasy, Stockholm's special police unit of 15 officers, formed to go to nightspots and "rave" parties to identify young newcomers to the rave culture who are abusing and/or selling ecstasy, has in 1997 been simulated in two other major cities. Under Swedish law, individuals who abuse drugs can be sentenced to drug treatment.

Swedish cooperation with United States Government (USG) law enforcement authorities continues to be excellent. In July 1998, General Barry McCaffrey, director of ONDCP, visited Sweden and praised Swedish firmness in counternarcotics work in Sweden and in the EU.

The USG looks forward to further strengthening its already good counter-narcotics cooperation with Sweden, particularly in the Nordic-Baltic and Newly Independent States (NIS).


Internet research assisted by Rita Zois

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