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Dags att ta strid för barnafrid? En analys av hur barnets intressen tillgodoses under en utredning om sexuellt övergrepp

Öwall, Sara LU (2015) LAGM01 20151
Department of Law
Abstract
The National Board of Health and Welfare has, on behalf of the govern-ment, investigated where to establish a national centre for knowledge about violence and other abuse of children with the aim to collect and pass on knowledge. The board has suggested that the centre should be located at Linköping University and be named Barnafrid. In the spring of 2015 the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child criticized Sweden for not ensuring that professionals who work with children have sufficient training in how to consider the best interest of the child when making decisions regarding the child.

Investigations concerning sexual abuse of children are problematic both from a procedural point of view and from a child perspective.... (More)
The National Board of Health and Welfare has, on behalf of the govern-ment, investigated where to establish a national centre for knowledge about violence and other abuse of children with the aim to collect and pass on knowledge. The board has suggested that the centre should be located at Linköping University and be named Barnafrid. In the spring of 2015 the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child criticized Sweden for not ensuring that professionals who work with children have sufficient training in how to consider the best interest of the child when making decisions regarding the child.

Investigations concerning sexual abuse of children are problematic both from a procedural point of view and from a child perspective. Penal sanctions have been aligned with specific regulations for sexual abuse of children. Investigations concerning children require skills of competence for the professionals involved in different parts of the investigation. The level of competence required is rarely specified, which makes it difficult to control how the requirements are met. Children are, to a large extent, protected from the legal process by not participating in the court. It entails high demands on the child’s ability to talk about abuse and to convey it in a way that corresponds to the standards of proof. Hence, the quality requirements are high, while the investigations also need to be conducted rapidly.

At the structural level the main concern is that suspicions of abuse are likely not to be recognized to the extent that they possibly could be. At the individual level it is problematic that an investigation may be negatively affected due to the varying skills levels of the professionals who work with children. To raise the level of competence, improvement should primarily focus on further recognition of suspicion of abuse, by those who work with children in childcare and child healthcare. In addition, an increase in competence of the child interrogation leader can bring quality improvements throughout the investigation. For increased child specificity, a more individualized approach can be used consisting of customization for the specific child’s needs and circumstances.

The best interests of the child are met to some extent in the conduct of investigations, adjustments to the needs of children has been made through the protection and management of children in criminal law. To make it possible for investigations to meet the child interest to a greater extent, there is a need of professional development and quality improvement measures. Suspicions of sexual abuse of children must be dealt with in a proper manner throughout the investigation process, but for a vulnerable child the most important thing is that someone raises suspicion of abuse and initiates an investigation. Changes are needed and they must be based on children’s possibilities and abilities to talk about sexual abuse. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
På uppdrag av regeringen har Socialstyrelsen utrett var ett nationellt centrum för kunskap om våld och andra övergrepp mot barn, med målet att samla in och förmedla kunskap, ska inrättas. Om regeringen beslutar i enlighet med förslaget kommer kunskapscentret att förläggas vid Linköpings universitet och kallas Barnafrid. Under våren år 2015 kritiserades Sverige av FN:s barnrättskommitté för att aktörer som arbetar med barn inte innehar tillräcklig kompetens för att fatta beslut utifrån barnets bästa.

Barnutredningar som rör sexuella övergrepp mot barn är problematiska både ur utredningssynpunkt och ur ett barnperspektiv. Det straffrättsliga skyddet har anpassats med specifika regleringar för sexuella övergrepp mot barn. För... (More)
På uppdrag av regeringen har Socialstyrelsen utrett var ett nationellt centrum för kunskap om våld och andra övergrepp mot barn, med målet att samla in och förmedla kunskap, ska inrättas. Om regeringen beslutar i enlighet med förslaget kommer kunskapscentret att förläggas vid Linköpings universitet och kallas Barnafrid. Under våren år 2015 kritiserades Sverige av FN:s barnrättskommitté för att aktörer som arbetar med barn inte innehar tillräcklig kompetens för att fatta beslut utifrån barnets bästa.

Barnutredningar som rör sexuella övergrepp mot barn är problematiska både ur utredningssynpunkt och ur ett barnperspektiv. Det straffrättsliga skyddet har anpassats med specifika regleringar för sexuella övergrepp mot barn. För barnutredningars bedrivande uppställs krav på kompetens av de aktörer som arbetar i utredningens olika delar. Kompetenskraven är dock sällan specificerade vilket försvårar möjligheterna att kontrollera hur de efterföljs. Barn skyddas i stor utsträckning från den rättsliga processen genom att de inte deltar. Det medför att det uppställs höga krav på barnets förmåga att berätta om ett övergrepp och att förmedla det på ett sätt som motsvarar beviskraven. Kvalitetskraven som uppställs för barnutredningar är därav mycket höga samtidigt som utredningarna måste bedrivas skyndsamt.

För barnutredningars bedrivande föreligger det brister som är hänförliga till såväl strukturell som individuell nivå. Till den strukturella nivån tillfogas främst att övergreppsmisstankar troligen inte uppmärksammas i så stor utsträckning som det skulle vara möjligt. Till den individuella nivån hör att en utredning kan påverkas negativt på grund av varierande kompetensnivåer hos de aktörer som arbetar med barn. För att motverka brister krävs förbättringsåtgärder inom hela barnutredningsprocessen. Kompetenshöjande förbättringsåtgärder bör främst inriktas till att övergrepp ska uppmärksammas i högre utsträckning av de som arbetar med barn inom barnomsorg och barnhälsovård. Därtill kan förbättring i barnförhörsledares kompetens medföra kvalitetsförbättringar i hela utredningen. För en ökad barnanpassning kan ett mer individualiserat synsätt göras gällande som utgörs av anpassning efter det specifika barnets behov och förutsättningar.

Barns intressen tillgodoses i viss utsträckning i barnutredningars bedrivande, barnanpassning har skett av det straffrättsliga skyddet och hanteringen av barn. För att barnutredningar ska kunna tillgodose barnets intressen i större utsträckning finns det ett behov av kompetensutveckling och kvalitetshöjande åtgärder. Misstankar om sexuella övergrepp måste hantera på ett korrekt sätt genom hela barnutredningsprocessen men för ett utsatt barn är det allra viktigast att någon fattar misstanke och initierar en utredning. Förändringar behövs och de måste utgå ifrån barns möjligheter och förmågor att berätta om ett sexuellt övergrepp. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Öwall, Sara LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Is it time to take the fight for children's rights? An analysis of how the best interests of the child are met during an investigation concerning sexual abuse of children
course
LAGM01 20151
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
straffrätt, criminal law, straffprocessrätt, barnutredningar, sexuella övergrepp mot barn, barnrätt
language
Swedish
id
5431741
date added to LUP
2015-06-16 17:00:17
date last changed
2015-06-16 17:00:17
@misc{5431741,
  abstract     = {The National Board of Health and Welfare has, on behalf of the govern-ment, investigated where to establish a national centre for knowledge about violence and other abuse of children with the aim to collect and pass on knowledge. The board has suggested that the centre should be located at Linköping University and be named Barnafrid. In the spring of 2015 the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child criticized Sweden for not ensuring that professionals who work with children have sufficient training in how to consider the best interest of the child when making decisions regarding the child.

Investigations concerning sexual abuse of children are problematic both from a procedural point of view and from a child perspective. Penal sanctions have been aligned with specific regulations for sexual abuse of children. Investigations concerning children require skills of competence for the professionals involved in different parts of the investigation. The level of competence required is rarely specified, which makes it difficult to control how the requirements are met. Children are, to a large extent, protected from the legal process by not participating in the court. It entails high demands on the child’s ability to talk about abuse and to convey it in a way that corresponds to the standards of proof. Hence, the quality requirements are high, while the investigations also need to be conducted rapidly.

At the structural level the main concern is that suspicions of abuse are likely not to be recognized to the extent that they possibly could be. At the individual level it is problematic that an investigation may be negatively affected due to the varying skills levels of the professionals who work with children. To raise the level of competence, improvement should primarily focus on further recognition of suspicion of abuse, by those who work with children in childcare and child healthcare. In addition, an increase in competence of the child interrogation leader can bring quality improvements throughout the investigation. For increased child specificity, a more individualized approach can be used consisting of customization for the specific child’s needs and circumstances.

The best interests of the child are met to some extent in the conduct of investigations, adjustments to the needs of children has been made through the protection and management of children in criminal law. To make it possible for investigations to meet the child interest to a greater extent, there is a need of professional development and quality improvement measures. Suspicions of sexual abuse of children must be dealt with in a proper manner throughout the investigation process, but for a vulnerable child the most important thing is that someone raises suspicion of abuse and initiates an investigation. Changes are needed and they must be based on children’s possibilities and abilities to talk about sexual abuse.},
  author       = {Öwall, Sara},
  keyword      = {straffrätt,criminal law,straffprocessrätt,barnutredningar,sexuella övergrepp mot barn,barnrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Dags att ta strid för barnafrid? En analys av hur barnets intressen tillgodoses under en utredning om sexuellt övergrepp},
  year         = {2015},
}