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Equality Ombudsman

SWEDEN: Equality Ombudsman

Main Informations


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 powers
  • 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 aimed at supporting vulnerable groups (e.g. through trainings)yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesno
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesno
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesno
Recommendations on discrimination issuesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesno
Publications and reportsyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesno
Research projects (including surveys)yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesno
Other statistics
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)77516241656369065801569846774598no datano data
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)28922353183523462148264726272496no datano data
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media70005500350054004800400036003000no datano data
  • 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
9391881061171089394no datano data
Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body
Grounds / FieldsEmploymentEducationHousingSocial Protection & HealthcareGoods & ServicesOther
GenderyesyesyesyesyesNational military service and civilian service; Public employment
Gender Identityyesyesyesyesyes
Race and Ethnic Originyesyesyesyesyes
Sexual Orientationyesyesyesyesyes
Religion & Beliefyesyesyesyesyes
Mandate covers:
  • Public sector
  • Private sector
Operating budget in euros
97339179778123987801099313741017345910213350114065931170524211816568no data
Operating budget in euros for the parts of the organisation dealing with equality issues (all types of functions).
no data9728054982742998805191012136510167649114065931170524211816568no data
We are accountable to:
  • National Ministry

Related News

The Swedish Equality Ombudsman recently investigated and delivered her opinion in two cases concerning demands to shake hands in the working life. The employers involved in both cases had denied (male) applicants jobs when the applicants had declared that, according to their interpretation of Islam, they could not shake hands with persons of the opposite sex.


The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published its fifth report on Sweden in which it analyses legislatives issues, racist and homo-/transphobic hate speech and violence as well as integration policies. In the report, ECRI makes recommendations to the authorities (see also the Swedish version of the report).


Equinet Calendar 2019

January 3rd 2019

Equality bodies assist victims of discrimination in a wide variety of ways. This calendar highlights some of the work that our members do to promote equal treatment in their respective countries.


Back to European Directory of Equality Bodies

General Contact Information

Full name in English:

The Equality Ombudsman

Full name in the national language(s):


Postal address:
DO, P.O. Box 4057, SE-169 04 Solna, Sweden

General email address:

+46 8 120 20 700

Telephone number:

+46 8 120 20 700



Other social media channels:

Languages in which your institution can be contacted:

Swedish, English, Finnish, French, Spanish

Person of contact for media enquiries:

Clas Lundstedt, Press officer, Telephone direct +46 8 120 20 708

Name of the Head of the equality body:

Agneta Broberg

Engagement with Equinet

Cluster : Working Group : Research & Data Collection
Ann Frisell Ellburg
Martin Mörk
Working Group: Gender Equality
Caroline Mitt
Working Group: Equality Law
Linnea Sigeman
Working Group: Policy Formation
Carl Ekström

Contact Person


Kerstin Jansson