On the Forefront: Assuring safety for refugees in Sweden

WWT - Members series

Sweden has a good record when it comes to human rights and torture prevention and rehabilitation. But problems of excessive police force, and alleged mistreatment of refugees, still echo through the country each year.

A member of staff at the centre in Malmö treating one of their many clients

A member of staff at the centre in Malmö treating one of their many clients

Providing support in these instances is the The Swedish Red Cross Center for Victims of Torture and War in Malmö. Primarily aimed at refugees and their families in Skåne, southern Sweden, the main mission of this Swedish IRCT member is to give support to refugees who have experienced war, imprisonment, torture and mistreatment while in exile to Sweden or in their home country.

Thanks to a wide range of knowledge and experience from the team of psychologists, doctors, therapists, physicians, social workers, secretaries, administrators and interpreters, the team is able to provide targeted holistic rehabilitation programmes to heal psychological, physical and social wounds.

Activities are also adapted to serve the families of the asylum seekers, undocumented migrants and refugees.

According to Amnesty International, enforced deportations of refugees to their home country – despite a risk of torture existing there – still occur in Sweden, as exemplified by the recent case ruled by the ECHR involving three Russian nationals and their deportation (I vs. Sweden).Thankfully the Swedish move to deport the refugees was blocked as it infringed Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects people from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

It is only through the help of human rights defenders and networks such as the Red Cross in Malmö that authorities are being held to account, made aware of their obligations under international law, and refugees are being granted the safety they seek.

For more information on the Red Cross in Sweden, click this link.

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