We are extremely excited for this announcement from the government and now hope that the process to go as quickly as possible and do not meet any resistance, says Ulrika Westerlund, Chair of RFSL.
From January 2013, forced sterilisation no longer take place in Sweden. The breach of Government, the European Convention and is discriminatory, the Court of Appeal in Stockholm in a judgment of December 2012. At that time forced sterilisations of people who wanted to change legal gender ongoing since in 1972.
The summer of 2013 also repealed the requirement in the legislation by Parliament. After it left about 160 people in a claim to the Attorney General that they have been forcibly sterilised. RFSL, together with RFSL Youth, Transföreningen FPES, Kim and Diskrimineringsbyrån in Uppsala, was behind the application lawyer Kerstin Burman worked with. The Attorney General rejected the application the summer of 2014 and said, contrary to the appeal, it is not at all about forced sterilisation.
After the rejection organisations took the decision to sue the state in case the government voluntarily wouldn’t pay compensation for the violation that occurred. RFSL met health minister Gabriel Wikström winter of 2015 to extend the requirement of compensation and restitution and since then, the contacts in question remained. As the political process has been protracted, however Kerstin Burman worked with a lawsuit with eight pilot cases, to sue the state for a political initiative that wouldn’t come.
The government has now decided to take political responsibility for forced sterilisations is gratifying. Now we assume only that the level of compensation is high enough. In our lawsuit, we set the level to 300 000 per person, which among other things based on Swedish tort law and that the state violated the privacy in contravention of the Constitution and the European Convention. Government proposes a considerably lower amount then we’ll turn to the juridical system says Kerstin Burman.
Financial compensation may of course not fully compensate for the gross violation of forced sterilisations meant. But a financial compensation to the government’s initiative is a public recognition that what happened these individuals was wrong and so this may be a state does not treat its citizens. In the 1970s, repealed the laws that allowed forced sterilisation of other groups, and in 2000 the government decided to apologise and pay compensation to those previously force sterilised.
Now we get the same redress as the other forced sterilisation. It feels like a tremendous recognition of the government of the state has done wrong. When I have the money in hand, I will celebrate, says Maria Sundin, member of RFSL’s federation board and one of those who participated in the process to obtain financial compensation.