diakonia concord

Why Swedish Development Cooperation Needs to Get Closer to the Ground

During the celebration of democracy on the island of Gotland, Sweden this week, we’ve been interviewing different people involved in some way or another in human rights or international humanitarian law. In this episode of “On Human Rights,” our team leader for Inclusive Societies Gabriella Fredriksson interviews Georg Andrén.

He is the General Secretary of the NGO Diakonia in Sweden and Concord, a network of different civil society actors in Sweden. He talks about the problems with decreasing rule of law, shrinking space, and the rise of populism. “We’re not just seeing this in the far-right, it’s starting to move into the mainstream political parties,” he says. “We’re only two months away from an election in Sweden, and I’m worried.”

Speaking about civil society in countries around the world, he says, “We haven’t done enough to ensure that these systems work enough for the rights holders. I saw it very close in Honduras and Guatemala. We need to talk to our partners and together talk to them about how to target rule of law as a key for us,” he says.

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