Equality Ombudsman

Overview:

The Equality Ombudsman is an independent Government agency established on 1 January 2009. The Ombudsman’s tasks include the supervision of compliance with the Discrimination Act and the promotion of equal rights and opportunities regardless of sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Brief history

The Equality Ombudsman – and independent government agency – was formed on 1 January 2009 when four previously existing anti-discrimination ombudsmen were merged into a new body. The Ombudsman was established by an Act of Parliament (Discrimination Act (2008:567)).
As set out in the Act (2008:568) concerning the Equality Ombudsman, the Ombudsman shall
• Supervise compliance with the Discrimination Act. To this end, the Ombudsman may, inter alia, receive and consider complaints from individuals asserting that they have been the victims of discrimination. Following such an investigation the Equality Ombudsman may bring a legal action for damages on behalf of the individual concerned.
• Work to ensure that discrimination associated with sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age does not occur in any areas of the life of Swedish Society.
• Work in other respects to promote equal rights and opportunities regardless of sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.
More specifically, the statutory responsibilities of the Equality Ombudsman include the provision of advice and other support so as to help enable anyone who has been subjected to discrimination to claim their rights. Within its sphere of competence, the Equality Ombudsman shall further
• Inform, educate, discuss and have other contacts with government agencies, enterprises, individuals and organizations.
• Follow international developments and have contacts with international organizations.
• Follow research and development work.
• Propose legislative amendments and other anti-discrimination measures to the Government.
• Initiate other appropriate measures.

Mandate Type

Predominantly promotion-type and legal support body

Litigation power:

  • Representing in front of courts
  • Bringing proceedings in own name
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) Not legally binding

Activities

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)
Recommendations on discrimination issues
Publications and reports
Research projects (including surveys)

Other statistics:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)77516241659369065801569846774598
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)28922353185323462148264726272496
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media70005500350154004800400036003000

Management

  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)

Management details

The Equality Ombudsman is headed by a Director-General (the “Equality Ombudsman”). The Director-General acts on behalf of the agency and is solely responsible for its activities.
Pursuant to the Ordinance with instructions for the Equality Ombudsman, an Advisory Committee has been created. The task of the Advisory Committee is to provide the agency with advice and support, inter alia through the provision of expertise in discrimination issues and other matters of relevance to the Equality Ombudsman’s sphere of activities. The members of the Advisory Committee are appointed by the Equality Ombudsman.

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The Equality Ombudsman is appointed by the Government. All other staff members are appointed by the Equality Ombudsman.

Number of staff dealing with equality issues

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
9391881061171089394

Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body

Grounds / Fields Employment Education Housing Social Protection & Healthcare Goods and Services Other
Gender
Gender Identity
Race and Ethnic Origin
Age
Disability
Sexual Orientation
Religion & Belief

Mandate covers:

  • Public sector
  • Private sector

Operating budget in euros

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
97339179778123987801099313741017345910213350114065931170524211816568

Operating budget in euros for the parts of the organisation dealing with equality issues (all types of functions)

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
9728054982742998805191012136510167649114065931170524211816568

We are accountable to

  • National Ministry