New legislation on sexual crime to be introduced

Published: 23 May 2018 at 18.01

New legislation on sexual crime based on the principle of consent is to be introduced. The purpose of the legislation is to clarify that every individual has an unconditional right to decide over their own sexual relations.

The proposal involves the following aspects:

  • Whether participation in a sexual act is consensual or not will now represent the boundary as to where an act is deemed to be punishable. For example, a perpetrator could be charged with rape even if he or she had not resorted to violence or threats.
  • A special "negligence liability" clause will be introduced for specific, serious sexual crimes.

The Riksdag voted in favour of the Government's proposal. The amendments will come into force on 1 July 2018. The Riksdag is also directing two recommendations, known as announcements, to the Government that specify that the minimum sentence for non-aggravated rape and purchasing a sexual act from a child should be raised. The maximum sentence for purchasing a sexual act from a child should also be raised in the opinion of the Riksdag.