Sweden has once again faced criticism over the way in which it treats the Sami, this time from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. On 12 September, the Committee recommended Sweden to take immediate action to “increase and formalise opportunities for the Sami to participate in a meaningful and effective way in decision-making processes affecting them at municipal, county and national levels and ensure that the Sami can maintain and develop their culture whenever decisions are taken that affect areas inhabited traditionally by them”.
The criticism focuses primarily on the Sami’s lack on influence on authorities’ decisions regarding the exploitation of land in reindeer herding areas, says Swedish lawyer Marie B Hagsgård, a member of the Council of Europe’s expert group.
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