The following information is based on the Amnesty International Report 2020/21. This report documents the human rights situation in 149 countries in 2020, as well as providing global and regional analysis. It presents Amnesty lnternational’s concerns and calls for action to governments and others. During 2020, the world was rocked by COVID-19. The pandemic and measures taken to tackle it impacted everyone, but also threw into stark relief, and sometimes aggravated, existing inequalities and patterns of abuse.

SWEDEN human rights 2020

In 2020, COVID-19 deaths occurred disproportionately among older people and in immigrant communities. Despite the pandemic, authorities carried out hundreds of evictions.


In June 2020, “Black Lives Matter” protests took place in several cities. The Minister for Gender Equality publicly acknowledged that people of African descent and ethnic minorities faced discrimination in accessing employment, housing, education and health care.

Right to health

At year’s end, 7,389 people aged over had 70 died from COVID-19, out of a total of 8,154 deaths. Almost 6,000 of them were care home residents or had received care at home. The Health and Social Care Inspectorate and the National Corona Commission identified failures in carrying out individual medical assessments in care homes and shortages of personal protective equipment for staff as contributing factors.

In June 2020, public health research indicated that the number of older people in some immigrant communities dying from COVID-19 was disproportionately high. Initial studies suspected a link between higher mortality risk and the crowded living conditions experienced by some immigrant communities, combined with the exposure risk of employment in the service sector.

Right to housing and forced evictions

During 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities carried out 2,106 evictions. The police forcibly evicted EU nationals living in informal settlements in the capital Stockholm, many of whom were Roma. The authorities failed to offer alternative accommodation.

Sami Indigenous People

In January 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Sami village of Girjas had the exclusive right to manage fishing and hunting licences for their traditional lands. Following the ruling, hate speech on social media against Sami people was reported.

Gender-based violence

In June 2020, a review of Sweden’s 2018 consent-based rape legislation was published showing a significant increase in the number of prosecutions and convictions for rape since the law’s introduction.

Right to seek asylum

Authorities continued to forcibly return to Afghanistan people whose asylum applications were rejected, in risk of violating the principle of non-refoulement (forcible return of individuals to a country where they risked serious human rights violations).

Torture and other ill-treatment

In its October review, the UN Committee Against Torture repeated its long-standing criticism of Sweden for failing to define or criminalize torture in domestic law.

Corporate accountability

In June 2020, the Swedish Prosecutor confirmed the completion of an investigation into two representatives of oil company Lundin Energy (formerly Lundin Petroleum) for alleged complicity in serious violations of international law in what is now South Sudan.

Sweden Newsroom

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

May 29, 2013 • Report

Annual Report: Sweden 2013

Kingdom of Sweden Head of state King Carl XVI Gustaf Head of government Fredrik Reinfeldt Ahmed Agiza, who had been subjected to rendition from Sweden to Egypt in 2001 and …

October 3, 2011 • Report

Campaign to silence Syrian protesters overseas revealed

Syrian protesters in Europe and the Americas have been systematically monitored and harassed by embassy officials and others believed to be acting on behalf of the Syrian regime, Amnesty International …

July 11, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Sweden 2011

Head of state: King Carl XVI Gustaf Head of government: Fredrik Reinfeldt Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes Population: 9.3 million Life expectancy: 81.3 years Under-5 mortality (m/f): 4/4 per …

March 26, 2011 • Report

Europe: Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe’s Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention

Europe: Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe’s Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention Available in PDF only.

March 19, 2011 • Report

Annual Report: Sweden 2010

Head of state King Carl XVI Gustaf Head of government Fredrik Reinfeldt Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes Population 9.2 million Life expectancy 80.8 years Under-5 mortality (m/f) 4/4 per …

December 9, 2019 • Press Release

Generation Z Ranks Climate Change Highest as Vital Issue of our Time in Amnesty International Survey

Climate change leads as one of the most important issues facing the world, according to a major new survey of young people published by Amnesty International today to mark Human Rights Day.

November 19, 2017 • Press Release

Amnesty reveals alarming impact of online abuse against women

New research by Amnesty International has revealed the alarming impact that abuse and harassment on social media are having on women, with women around the world reporting stress, anxiety, or panic attacks as a result of these harmful online experiences.

February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.