Country Sweden
Year 2008
Type of Measure Violence against women > Legislation
Form of Violence Sexual harassment

Brief Description


The Act defines sexual harassment as follows:

Sexual harassment: conduct of a sexual nature that violates someone’s dignity.

Chapter 2

Section 3: If an employer becomes aware that an employee considers that he or she has been subjected in connection with work to harassment or sexual harassment by someone performing work or carrying out a traineeship at the employer’s establishment, the employer is obliged to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged harassment and where appropriate take the measures that can reasonably be demanded to prevent harassment in the future. This obligation also applies with respect to a person carrying out a traineeship or performing work as temporary or borrowed labour.

Section 7: If an education provider becomes aware that a child, pupil or student participating in or applying for the provider’s activities considers that he or she has been subjected in connection with these activities to harassment or sexual harassment, the education provider is obliged to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged harassment and where appropriate take the measures that can reasonably be demanded to prevent harassment in the future.

Section 16: If a government agency or an organisation covered by the prohibition in Section 15 becomes aware that a person liable for national total defence service considers herself or himself to have been subjected in connection with activities described in that Section to harassment or sexual harassment, the government agency or organisation is obliged to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged harassment and where appropriate take the measures that can reasonably be demanded to prevent harassment in the future.

Section 18: An employer may not subject an employee to reprisals because the employee has
1. reported or called attention to the fact that the employer has acted contrary to this Act, 2. participated in an investigation under this Act, or 3. rejected or given in to harassment or sexual harassment on the part of the employer. The prohibition also applies in relation to a person who, with respect to the employer, 1. is enquiring about or applying for work, 2. is applying for or carrying out a traineeship, or 3. is available to perform work or is performing work as temporary or borrowed labour.

Chapter 3:

Section 6 Employers are to take measures to prevent and hinder any employee being subjected to harassment or reprisals associated with sex, ethnicity, religion or other belief, or to sexual harassment.

Section 15 An education provider referred to in Section 14 is to take measures to prevent and hinder any child, pupil or student who is participating in or applying for their activities from being subjected to harassment associated with sex, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability or sexual orientation, or to sexual harassment.

Chapter 5

Section 1 A natural or legal person who violates the prohibitions of discrimination or reprisals or who fails to fulfil their obligations to investigate and take measures against harassment or sexual harassment under this Act shall pay compensation for discrimination for the offence resulting from the infringement. When compensation is decided, particular attention shall be given to the purpose of discouraging such infringements of the Act. The compensation shall be paid to the person who has been offended by the infringement.

Full Text

Discrimination Act

Source of Information

Response of the Government of Sweden to the questionnaire on violence against women, January 2009