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Zero Discrimination Day

On 1 March, the UN marks the International Day against Discrimination to raise awareness of discrimination and anti-discrimination work. At the Department of Law, we have several researchers studying current legal issues closely related to the subject.

Muslim woman standing in front of a man in a wheelchair
"States have a moral and legal obligation to remove discriminatory laws and to enact laws that protect people from discrimination." writes UNAIDS on its website for this year's campaign, which has the theme: Remove laws that harm, create laws that empower. Photo: Mostphotos

There are several different laws protecting against discrimination, both at national and international level, all of which support anti-discrimination work in different ways. At the Department of Law, we currently have several ongoing research projects related to this topic. Read more about the projects below.

All quotes from the researchers, exept Mariana Fakih's below, are freely translated from Swedish by the author of the article.


Citizenship Deprivation

Mariana Fakih, doctoral student in Public International Law:

– My research project focuses on citizenship deprivation as a counterterrorism measure in democratic states. The preliminary title is ’’Does depriving individuals of their citizenship, based on national security grounds, comply with EU and international law on human rights?’’. Some of the questions that the research deals with are how states justify their increased denationalisation power, whether there are limits to citizenship deprivation, and how EU and international law on human rights can protect citizens from this power. 

States have, under international law, the right to determine who can be a citizen and to provide a basis for inclusion and exclusion. This freedom is, however, not absolute and the states should not render an individual stateless. The prohibition of statelessness, as a result of denationalization, makes dual-citizens more vulnerable to denationalization than mono-citizens. For example, if a dual-citizen and a mono-citizen together commit or conspire to commit a terrorist act, the first citizen will most certainly loss her/his citizenship whereas the latter has her/his citizenship secured. The punishment will, therefore, differ among them even if they were both equally culpable. This unequal treatment of individuals, based on their legal status, opens a pathway to discrimination against immigrants who generally hold naturalised citizenship or dual nationality.   

Read more about "Citizenship Deprivation"


Equality Law

Laura Carlson, professor in Private Law:

– I am the editor of the forthcoming anthology "Equality Law" which is volume 68 in the Scandinavian Studies in Law series. The book brings together over 15 Nordic scholars all writing under the theme of equality law. This includes issues of specific grounds of discrimination, as well as issues of gender equality, equality and access to justice. 

The book will be published at the end of March and is one of the first Nordic books to focus on the different aspects of equality law, including the right to be treated differently in certain contexts - such as the relationship of the Sami to their land. It is a book aimed at anyone who wants to deepen their perspective on these important social issues.

Read more about "Equality Law"


Treated Like a Child

Pernilla Leviner, professor in Public Law:

– The research project "Treated Like a Child: Children and Age Discrimination Law in Sweden and the UK" is funded by the Ragnar Söderberg Foundation and aims to raise the issue of discrimination against children because they are children. Despite the fact that we are talking more and more about children's rights and that age is a ground for discrimination in many countries, including Sweden, there is a significant lack of protection, discussion and research on how children risk being treated in a discriminatory way compared to adults without legitimate reasons.

The aim of the project is to use legal science to develop regulation and application in order to create better conditions for equality for children and thus contribute to making children's situation and voices heard to a greater extent.

Read more about "Treated like a child"


Women in Swedish Film

Frantzeska Papadopoulou Skarp, professor in Intellectual Property Law:

– Film is one of the key forms of expression of our time. Like all cultural expressions, film helps to both reflect and shape our perceptions of society and contributes to public discourse. As equality is central to public discourse in a democracy, who gets to make films and how women and men are portrayed on the silver screen matters. Male dominance in the field of film culture is therefore problematic. We need to ask ourselves what the consequences are of a film's message being so often attributed to a male director, while women are recognised for their contributions in front of the camera.

In our project, we analyse the conditions under which women have been allowed to work in film from 1920 to the present day. We analyze how the presence of female filmmakers affects the representation of gender on film and the conditions under which women's films gain access to the public sphere. It is an interdisciplinary project that combines feminist theory with empirical knowledge of film, politics and law in order to map the conditions for women working in film and how women's own actions influence and change film culture. 

By making it clear what it has been like, and what it is like, to work as a woman in an industry as special as film, it also becomes clear what it should be like, and what barriers should be removed. 

More about "Women in Swedish Film"

About the International Day against Discrimination 2022

Zero Discrimination Day is an annual day celebrated on 1 March each year by the United Nations and other international organisations. The day aims to promote equality before the law and in practice in all UN member states.

Each year, UNAIDS designates a special theme for the day. The theme for this year is "Remove laws that harm, create laws that empower".

UNAIDS Zero Discrimination Day