Unga Örnar believes that all children have the right to an equal childhood and that those who decide in Sweden must follow the Convention on the Rights of the Child. All children and young people must be given the same opportunities regardless of who they are or where they come from. In Unga Örnar's children's manifesto, we present proposals in seven different areas that we believe will make society better and more equal for children in Sweden and in the world. Unga Örnar wants all children and young people to continue growing up in the sign of peace and solidarity - not in militarism.
Environment and climate are one of the most important issues for children and young people. The emissions and environmental destruction continue, making the future more and more uncertain. The climate crisis requires us to make major changes in society. Those changes need to be made now, for a better future for future generations. There is money, knowledge and conditions to create change!
Unga Örnar wants children and young people to be able to shape the world they grow up in. We also see that we have a shared responsibility to create a better present and future.
Everyone needs to do their bit - but some can and must do much more than others. Even if individual people change their consumption, it is together on a national and global level that the biggest efforts need to be made, for the children and young people of today and the future. Only when individuals are given a real chance to live climate-smart can the responsibility be placed on the individual level. Therefore, we want the state, regions, municipalities and companies to take their responsibility - for the future of all children.
"Children have the right to social security and to state support, if parents or other guardians lack sufficient resources."
Article 26 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Too many children live in poverty. According to Save the Children's report from 2021, approximately 196,000 children live in poverty - 9.2 % of Sweden's children. Living in economic vulnerability negatively affects children's living conditions and development, with an increased risk of, for example, physical and mental ill-health, crime and exposure to crime, low academic results and insecure housing. They also find it more difficult to take advantage of their democratic and social rights later in life. We must counteract child poverty and its consequences.
Society's safety net must not fail children and their development. This requires an active labor market policy that creates safe jobs for both young people and their guardians. An economic policy is also required which, via taxes, increased child and housing benefits and better social insurance, can contribute to creating more equal financial conditions for families with children.
Children should not grow up in a society characterized by economic or social differences. The gaps that exist between rich and poor in Sweden are growing the fastest of all countries in the OECD. Class society is a major obstacle for all children to reach their full potential. No child should grow up feeling like they don't have the opportunity to succeed.
“Every child has the right to education. Primary school must be free.”
Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 28.
Unga Örnar sees that the schools do not have the conditions to offer an equal school for all children in Sweden. The quality of Swedish school education differs from municipality to municipality and from school to school. It is unacceptable.
All students must receive sufficient support from their teachers and therefore it is necessary that the teachers' competence is continuously strengthened. Teachers should not be required to carry out work tasks that are outside of teaching or that have more limited educational value, for example guarding breaks or reporting absences. We need smaller classes and more resources for the school. More adults are also needed in the school, both qualified teachers and student health personnel. In the long term, Unga Örnar wants to see more teaching assistants who support teaching
The school's compensatory mission means that it must work to equalize the students' unequal conditions so that everyone can cope with school. The school is more than a knowledge factory, it must also nurture children and young people into democratic citizens. All children must be given the opportunity to cope with their schooling, regardless of the conditions. It is the school's task to individually adapt the schooling with, for example, aids, resource teachers and time for recovery in order for each student to succeed.
Many children suffer because of discrimination and harassment. The school staff must have sufficient competence to be able to prevent and deal with these problems.
The Swedish market school results in grade inflation, different quality of schooling and money that disappears from the school system and lands in the shareholders' pockets. Unga Örnar wants for-profit preschools, schools and leisure centers to be abolished.
The free school choice creates inequality. Children with rich parents end up in certain schools, and children with poor parents end up in other schools. School choice disadvantages students with parents who do not have knowledge of the system or for other reasons cannot put the children in the "correct" queue on time.
Children's schooling should never be determined by the guardians' finances, place of residence or employment. The school's equivalence must be secured.
"Every child has the right to play, rest and free time."
Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
All children have the right to play and leisure. But in reality there are big differences – for example in access to sports activities and other association activities. Often it depends on factors such as the class of the family and the fact that leisure activities are too expensive for many families with children. All municipalities should be able to offer a large range of leisure activities that are free and accessible. Many municipalities need a substantial investment in leisure activities with increased contributions to association life. Nevertheless, today we see that the opposite is happening: in the municipalities, the subsidies are reduced, sometimes they are removed completely.
Children and young people's need for meaningful free time does not stop just because school does. There needs to be a large range of leisure activities even during the school holidays to satisfy children's right to have fun. Each municipality needs to allocate financial resources for leisure activities during all holidays of the academic year. In collaboration with local associations, each municipality should organize activities, with associated transport for those who have a long journey. The activities must be accessible to everyone and require no prior knowledge.
An obstacle for many families with children is that activities and any associated equipment are associated with an excessive cost. Municipalities need to work so that all children can participate in leisure activities, regardless of the family's financial situation. Therefore, we want an activity library with equipment to borrow to be in every municipality. Children and young people should be able to borrow the equipment to try out new sports or leisure activities.
Unga Örnar wants many different types of leisure interests to be possible, for example music, dance, art, theatre, sports, board games and more.
Unga Örnar sees how comparatively low the government grants awarded to children's and youth organizations are. In 2020, MUCF distributed SEK 212 million to children and youth organizations in Sweden. This can be compared with the 1.8 billion that the National Sports Confederation distributes to sports associations, or the Culture Council's total contribution, which amounts to 2.5 billion kroner a year.
All children have the right to have fun, but despite this there are big differences in how children and young people's free time looks like.
"Every child has the right to a reasonable standard of living, a home, clothes, food and clean water"
Article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Lack of housing, overcrowding and homelessness are three major social problems that affect children and young people to an excessive extent. In order to achieve the goal of an equal childhood, it is important that children and young people's accommodation is safe and functional. The housing shortage is acute in many parts of the country, which leads to increased overcrowding and unsafe forms of housing via second-hand and third-hand rentals. Having many people live together in a small area reduces the standard of living and can result in poorer mental and physical health. We believe that housing is one of the most important security factors in a child's life. A child must be able to live with the comforts required to have a well-functioning life. During their upbringing, all children must have stable accommodation with their own bed to sleep in and the opportunity to eat their fill every day. In cases where the state takes over responsibility for children's housing, the most necessary amenities must be provided.
Children are dependent on the care of adults, but despite this, it happens that children are evicted from their homes. That must not happen. It is up to each municipality to prevent families with children from being evicted. The combination of high rents and low wages is one of the reasons why families with children and young people become homeless. We believe that all accommodation should have reasonable rents so that everyone can afford a home. The housing policy must be adapted to needs and be able to create the conditions for young people to move away from home and for families with children to be able to change to a larger apartment without a shock increase in the rent.
We need more rental housing at reasonable rents, the housing allowance needs to be increased and the planning of housing and residential areas must be inclusive.
Unga Örnar thinks it is important to have a wide variety of housing types and that housing should be built according to need. Children and young people should not have to stand in the housing queue for several years to be able to study elsewhere. When it's time to move away from home, young people should not be hindered because of the lack of housing either.
"A child has the right to be reunited with his family if the family has been split up. Applications from families who wish to be reunited across state borders must be processed in a positive, humane and expeditious manner.”
Article 10 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Around the world, children are on the run. Many have a bad time, even among those who come to or are in Sweden. The conditions for a good life should not depend on geographical origin. A child seeking protection in Sweden must have access to education and healthcare in the same way as Swedish citizens have.
When children apply for asylum in Sweden, the case must be prioritized and handled promptly, the child must receive ongoing information about the process in an understandable manner. It is a great stress for children to be on the run. In order to reduce the risks of fleeing, children must be able to apply for asylum from third countries. All children seeking asylum in Sweden must be prioritized and long processing times avoided.
In the development of a long-term, sustainable, legal and responsible asylum policy within the EU and in Sweden, special consideration should be given to the vulnerable situation of children. The Convention on the Rights of the Child needs to be strengthened as law and the child's best interests must always be taken into account. Today, too many children are being deported against their best interests. Sweden must be a safe country for children to live out their lives.
All children have the right to be with their families. For children, being separated from their family can mean a great trauma. It is therefore important that the reunification process is handled quickly to reduce the risk of mental illness in the affected child. Children must be able to apply for a residence permit due to a connection to someone in Sweden.
"Every child has the right to be protected from physical or psychological violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, abuse or exploitation, including sexual abuse."
Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children and young people are a vulnerable group in society. Far too many children and young people suffer from mental illness and it is time that decision-makers take the problem seriously.
Mental illness hits particularly hard at vulnerable children who sometimes lack a safety net. Student health needs to be strengthened and children's opportunities for help through child and youth psychiatry (BUP) must be expanded. Privatizations and closures of BUP receptions need to stop and instead the percentage of receptions should be increased. The school needs to offer a guarantee of psychological presence in the school through student health teams who can talk to children who need it and refer them to the right healthcare institution.
The school has an important role in the work against rampant mental illness. Student health and child and youth psychiatry need sufficient resources to be able to provide support to all children and young people who need it. Society must accept that long support measures are often required rather than quick solutions. There are many explanations for why children and young people feel unwell today, but regardless of the reason, support must be close at hand and given immediately when needed.
In parallel with the support measures, preventive work needs to be carried out with the goal that no child should ever have to suffer from mental illness and disease. Teaching should take place in a way that promotes a strong self-esteem in each student.
Social media has become a natural part of our lives, but many children and young people are negatively affected by social media. The school needs to be given the task of equipping children and young people in how to manage the climate on social media in terms of likes, online hate, bullying and to recognize retouched and edited images.
"Children have the right to express their opinion and be heard in all matters concerning the child. Consideration must be given to the child's views, based on the child's age and maturity"
Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children and young people's opinions are often forgotten or overlooked when adults make decisions. For society to develop in the best way, it needs to take into account the opinions of children and young people.
We want Sweden to sign the third additional protocol on children's right to complain so that children can file lawsuits against the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child when their rights have been violated. The most important thing to change the lives of Sweden's children and young people is to create a national action plan for an equal childhood.
Even outside of school, children and young people need to be listened to. Therefore, we believe that every municipality should have a youth council consisting of children and young people aged 13–17 years, which the municipal council and management should consult on all major decisions that affect children. Giving children and young people influence requires commitment from the adult world. Every municipality therefore needs to have a children's representative with the task of ensuring children's influence in the municipality. A children's representative can also organize the youth council and the schools' student councils with the task of educating and supporting. The children's representative can be children and young people's link to the decision-makers and also ensure that children and young people's participation increases.
In order to create a sustainable interest in democracy, children and young people must already experience during school time that their opinions are important and that they have the opportunity to influence. A student who feels involved thrives much better. The students are closest to the business and are therefore a target group that is important to listen to. The student council must have influence in all school matters, not just in regards to the actual teaching. All issues concerning students must be discussed between the student council and school management. The student council should have a representative in the school management.
To save the climate, we must stop wasting the earth's resources. We have to move from toil and throw away to a society where we take care of our things and don't throw anything away unnecessarily. We need a circular economy with more recycling and reuse.
Today, you don't create things so that they can last as long as possible, or so that you can fix them in a simple way. Unga Örnar wants us to make stricter demands that the goods we buy should last for a longer period of time. This means, among other things, that Sweden must fight for the EU to set stricter requirements on which goods are approved. The companies must take responsibility for the products produced being environmentally friendly. This is called product liability.
We in Unga Örnar want to see a law against so-called planned ageing. Planned obsolescence means that companies create goods with a more limited lifespan, so things break down faster than they should. We think that is wrong. Instead, we should strive for long durability and a good opportunity to fix things that break anyway.
Much plastic is made from fossil fuels. Often this plastic is burned up or ends up in the oceans, which is dangerous for the environment and the survival of some species. We want the new production and use of fossil plastics to be reduced and replaced with environmentally friendly materials. Plastic should not be used where it is not necessary.
Food waste emits a lot of greenhouse gases, which is harmful to the climate. Stores throw away tens of thousands of tons of food every year. We want to see a ban on stores throwing away food and encourage stores to use "short date" sales. A large part of food waste also occurs in commercial kitchens and canteens in, for example, schools.
We think it is important that everyone has knowledge about how to live more environmentally friendly, and that everyone has the opportunity to do so. For example, we want schools to teach how to reduce food waste and take care of or cook their things.
It is difficult to choose climate smart when it is much more expensive than the alternatives. Unga Örnar thinks it should always be easier to choose organic and environmentally friendly alternatives. It must become easier to consume both better and less. Therefore Unga Örnar wants organic alternatives to always be cheaper to buy than non-organic ones.
Non-organic goods should bear their full cost while organic goods are subsidized so that people can afford to buy them. In addition, organic and locally grown alternatives must be available to a much greater extent, regardless of where in the country you live.
It is not enough to consume better. We also need to consume less in order not to consume as much of our planet. That's why Unga Örnar wants local and county traffic to be free of charge throughout Sweden, so that more people can get where they want without having to have a car. Public transport needs to be expanded so that even those living in sparsely populated and rural areas have good access to climate-smart alternatives. In order for it to be easier to travel climate-smart, it must also always be cheaper to take the train than to fly when traveling within Sweden.
Young Eagles want it to be easier to consume less and to use their things smarter. Therefore, we want the state, regions and municipalities to work for a circular economy. This can mean, for example, that you have recycling centers or shopping malls where you can buy used things and repair things that are broken. We also want it to be possible to borrow things that you don't use very often, for example leisure equipment or tools. When you have to throw away and recycle things, the recycling stations must be accessible to everyone, regardless of where you live.
The reason why the world is heating up in a dangerous way is that enormous amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane gas are released into the air. Young Eagles know that we must reduce these emissions. We want Sweden to have zero emissions by 2030 at the latest. Sweden must also work towards zero emissions throughout the world by 2050.
Unga Örnar wants Sweden to take a leading role in climate work in the world. Sweden must show that it is time for major changes. That's why Unga Örnar wants local and county traffic to be free of charge throughout Sweden, so that more people can get where they want without having to have a car. Public transport needs to be expanded so that even those living in sparsely populated and rural areas have good access to climate-smart alternatives. In order for it to be easier to travel climate-smart, it must also always be cheaper to take the train than to fly when traveling within Sweden.
Sweden must also share all good climate inventions and innovations, and help other countries to do so as well. In addition, we want Sweden to invest as much money as is needed so that companies, municipalities, regions and associations can become climate-friendly. Innovation support may be needed for the development of, among other things, green technology. Poisons and heavy metals spread in nature and harm both animals, nature and people. We at Unga Örnar want to remove these toxins from production.
The oceans are an important part of our planet's well-being and survival. A majority of the Earth's surface is water. This water feeds us with both food and liquid. In addition, it produces huge amounts of oxygen and cleans our air. But the oceans are abused by overfishing, transport and emissions. We must drastically reduce emissions and fishing in our oceans for the earth to be a habitable place in the future.