Around the world, nearly 250 million children are living in countries affected by conflict and tens of thousands of them have been recruited and used as child soldiers. Despite this reality, we are making progress in ending this horiffic and cruel practice, which robs children of their futures.

The Myanmar Digital Rights Forum took place in Yangon on 14-15 December. The event was the first of its kind in a country that until recently for decades was more or less closed off from the rest of the world.

After decades of civil war, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was established in 2013. Among its mandated functions is to support the Federal Government of Somalia in the areas of peace- and state-building.

Not a day goes by without us seeing and hearing about the hardships endured by people all over the world in their search for protection from conflicts and natural disasters. The number of forcibly displaced people now exceeds 65 million, of whom 21 million are legally regarded as refugees under the UNHCR’s mandate.

For Sweden, the fight for human rights – both at home and internationally – is a key issue that must permeate all policy areas.
Human Rights Day is celebrated around the world on 10 December every year.
Rarely has the day been as important to celebrate as now.

It’s 250 years since Sweden established the world’s strongest freedom of the press through a ground-breaking new fundamental law, the Freedom of the Press Act. It was the first legislation of its kind anywhere in the world.
Freedom of the press, freedom of expression and opposition to censorship are of course well worth celebrating – and are still worth fighting for today!

This summer, former Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, was appointed new Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). This autumn she took up her new full-time position at the Secretariat in Paris.

The statue of Swedish newspaper publisher Lars Johan Hierta watches over Riddarhustorget in Stockholm’s Old Town. And what a proud inscription: “Lars Johan Hierta, pioneer of a free press and popular government.”

Our human rights-based approach is the starting point and the added value that Sweden brings into the discussion on global internet affairs.