Sweden’s Riksdag, Government and government agencies
Sweden is a parliamentary democracy. All public power in Sweden proceeds from the people. The Swedish form of government is based on the principles of government by the people, representative democracy, parliamentary government, local self-government and the rule of law. The people are represented at the national level by the Riksdag, which has legislative powers. The Government implements decisions taken by the Riksdag and presents proposals for new legislation or legislative amendments. General elections to the Riksdag, county councils and municipalities are held every four years.
A fundamental aim for all exercise of public authority in Sweden is to ensure that human rights are fully respected. In all exercise of power and public authority, the central government, county councils and municipalities, including public administration on all levels, must act in a way that does not conflict with Sweden’s international human rights commitments. This also applies to the Riksdag and the judicial system. The Government strives in a number of areas to strengthen the protection of human rights beyond the level specified in international law.
Reports to the UN and the European Council
The responsibility to apply Sweden’s international commitments regarding human rights is shared between central government agencies, county councils and municipalities.
Sweden reports on a regular basis to international bodies, such as the UN's and the European Council's treaty bodies, on how the Government is fulfilling its international commitments on human rights. The Government takes the conclusions from these bodies extremely seriously, which contributes to improved protection of human rights in Sweden. The Government also takes statements related to individual cases from for example the UN human rights committees extremely seriously. The 2006 Swedish Aliens Act formalises an established practice of complying with requests, decisions and judgments from the international bodies, such as the UN human rights committees or the European Court of Human Rights, which are authorised to examine complaints from individuals.