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Discrimination Ombudsman to move to suburbs

Updated måndag 10 juni 2013 kl 15.35
Published måndag 10 juni 2013 kl 09.19
Integration minister, Erik Ullenhag. Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/Scanpix

Sweden's Discrimination Ombudsman, with around 100 employees, has been charged by the government to move its office to the Stockholm suburbs of either Tensta or Rinkeby, according to the integration minister, Erik Ullenhag.

Writing in the debate pages of the newspaper Dagens Nyheter Monday, Ullenhag says this is a way to "lift the most vulnerable areas of the city" and create opportunties for work.

He writes that social exclusion is widespread in the two Stockholm suburbs, as well as in Rosengård in Malmö, and Backa in Gothenburg.

Critics question how effective the move will be in helping integration and getting people to work. But Ullenhag maintains that this move, along with Stockholm city's decision to move some of its operations out of the city center, will boost local businesses.

The government, he said, has taken a number of initiatives that can contribute to positive development in these areas, and that the development has been going in the right direction over the past years, but more needs to be done.

"Society's institutions need to be more present in the most vulnerable areas where people live," Ullenhag maintains.

Ullenhag points out that the city of Stockholm will be moving a part of its administration to the suburbs as well.

Last month, a sustained spate of car burnings and stone throwing in the Stockholm suburb of Husby drew international attention to social troubles in the outskirts of town.

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