Children's rights in the society

Children's rights in the society
By Annette Westöö, Göteborg

Annette Westöö, born 1977, has her MA in Religious Knowledge and she is a teacher for nine years. She is the vice president of "Human Rights for the Unborn", a pro-life organisation which is a "daughter organisation" of the American Centre for Bioethcial Reform, CBR. She is an active member of the Swedish Church.

Annette Westöö has for many years been an active protector of children's and their families' rights. During the past years she has written several debate articles and opinion pieces about the rights of the unborn child.

The Swedish version of this article has been sent to several Swedish newspapers, but so far its fate is unknown.

It is published here with the kind consent of the author.



This year, marks the thirtieth year since Sweden became the first in the world to prohibit child-smacking. The law has attracted much attention internationally and Sweden is considered in large parts of the world as a pioneer country in terms of children's rights. Bris (Children's Rights in the Society) notes the anniversary with a campaign where they ask the question "What has actually happened?" It is a sensible question, because now is the time to look back on these thirty years and see what has been achieved. How much is there behind all Sweden's fine words about the rights of the children?


Five years before the anti-smacking law was passed the Swedish Riksdag (Parliament) passed another controversial law: that of free abortion. Since 1974, this decision led to over 1 million children being killed in our country. The consequences of the two laws in combination are absurd. In Sweden, a parent is prosecuted and tried in court for a slap in the face. The same parents can be - completely within boundaries of the law - to poison, maim and kill their children if they are younger than 18 weeks old. Smacking a child can lead to police action, whereas that same child could have had its head crushed by an adult at an earlier stage of its development - quite legally. The situation is bizarre and profoundly tragic. Save the Children, Bris and other organizations that claim to protect children's rights - as far as I know - do not lift a finger to save the unborn children.


Where is the logic? I who am approximately contemporary with these laws, I am experiencing great pain over the disaster that contempt for the smallest children's rights has meant for Sweden. The Sweden that we from the late seventies have grown up in has been deprived of one million citizens. People who would have lived among us as our family members, neighbours, schoolmates, colleagues, friends and spouses. People who would have helped to build this country and take care of the older generation. People who are irreplaceable and unique.


Can all you experts, ideologues and opinion leaders - especially those from the forties - who contributed to the passing of these two laws give me an explanation?

What were you really thinking?




Destroying the Family: Swedish style


A family flees from the Welfare State


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