21st Session of the Universal Periodic Review
Statement by Ambassador Keith Harper,
U.S. Representative to the Human Rights Council
January 26, 2015
– as delivered –
The United States warmly welcomes Ms Annika Soder and the Swedish delegation to the UPR Working Group.
We commend Sweden’s exemplary human rights record and longstanding commitment to protecting and promoting human rights domestically and internationally, in particular its leadership to promote Internet freedom worldwide. We also applaud Sweden’s demonstrated commitment to the UPR process, including its acceptance of critical recommendations made during its first UPR and its progress in acting on them.
We do note reports of discrimination and incidents of violence against members of certain ethnic and religious minorities in Sweden, particularly Somali and Arab immigrants and members of the Roma, Jewish, and Muslim communities.
Swedish authorities increased the number of human trafficking investigations in recent years; however, judges reportedly did not have sufficient training on such cases.
We make the following recommendations to Sweden:
- Enhance measures to reduce societal discrimination and incidents of violence against members of ethnic and religious minorities
- Strengthen efforts to prosecute human traffickers and increase understanding of human trafficking among the judiciary.