In defence of free speech – measures to counteract threats and hate aimed at journalists, elected representatives and artists

Government Offices, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, et al. government agencies
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 

In 2017, the Swedish Government initiated more systematic efforts to safeguard and strengthen the democratic dialogue against hate and threats in order to secure democracy. This is a way for society to create the conditions for an open and inclusive public dialogue. The judicial authorities are important, but more efforts are needed to protect the democratic dialogue. The purpose is thus to protect journalists and artists in particular as part of the democratic dialogue's infrastructure, as these actors are particularly vulnerable. The ambition is to strengthen preventive work through increased knowledge and targeted measures that can reduce the exposure of journalists and artists to hate and threats. The measures are being implemented in six areas: more in-depth knowledge of hate and threats, basic support for all those exposed to these, greater support for journalists and editorial staff, greater support for artists, and international cooperation to protect journalists and artists. The support needs to be developed, as most artists and writers are self-employed and often lack the support and protection that applies to employees, which can be made more difficult due to ambiguous relationships between artists and clients where responsibility is concerned.

Systematic work is needed to counteract threats and hate in the democratic dialogue. The Swedish Arts Grants Committee's Work Environment Survey of 2017 shows that over a third of the artists who have been subjected to threats, violence and harassment have refrained from artistic activities such as performances, publication and participation. When threats, violence and harassment lead to self-censorship, not only are the artists themselves affected, but also the democratic dialogue and artistic development. The Swedish Arts Grants Committee has been instructed in 2020 to draw attention to artists' exposure to threats, violence and harassment in relation to their professional practice. The assignment includes consulting with relevant parties.

What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 

Too early to see as the implementation is still ongoing.

Financial resources allocated to the policy/measure in USD: 

3 746 111 USD

Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partnerType of entity
Several government agencies
Public Sector
Has the implementation of the policy/measure been evaluated?: