05:35 GMT03 March 2021
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    Europe's Refugee and Migrant Crisis (200)

    Swedish authorities, which have long denied any connection whatsoever between the influx of migrants and the unparalleled surge of sexual attacks, seem to have tacitly admitted the problem by releasing a "sex guidebook" teaching immigrants the basic rules of consensual sex.

    The Swedish Authority for Youth and Civil Affairs (MUCF) has released a free-of-charge brochure providing guidance on how to talk to the new arrivals on health related issues, sexuality and gender equality. Among other things, the brochure focuses on what they should and should not do, stressing the fact that a woman is always entitled to say no.

    The tax-funded brochure, called "Youmo in practice," has been ordered by the government and is primarily targets adults who meet so-called "young new arrivals." The guidance is said to facilitate talks with the new arrivals about health, gender, sexuality, rights and norms "in an inclusive way."

    According to the authorities, it might be particularly problematic for immigrants to start a relationship in Sweden.

    "Many young new arrivals therefore need tips on social codes to initiate contact and find new friends. Additionally, they may also need support in navigating between Sweden's gender borders," the Swedish Youth and Civil Affairs Agency writes in its new brochure.

    MUCF Director General Lena Nyberg emphasized the cultural clashes that occur when people from other countries come to Sweden. After the avalanche of sexual assaults during Swedish summer festivals, it has become particularly important to inform new arrivals on the boundaries of the acceptable in the Nordic country.

    "One of the many things to do is to discuss with young boys and girls about what one may and may not do," Lena Nyberg told the newspaper Metro.

    For other young people growing up in an extremely conservative environment, honor-related issues and ultra-orthodox views on premarital sex may be a problem.

    "Here it's important that the young people know that they can say no, that they know the law and understand that there is nothing they cannot be forced into," Lena Nyberg explained.

    MUCF's new brochure informs young immigrants about the differences between the patriarchal and the European approach to gender issues.

    "In many parts of the world, boys and girls do not go to school together, they don't make friends or do something as intimate as hugging when they greet each other," the brochure explains. "New norms for social interaction are of course confusing and may need an explanation to be able to find oneself and create new relationships," it continues.

    However, the newcomers are also warned that one of the consequences of masculinity is that sexual abuse is mostly committed by boys and men.

    In the spring of 2016, MUCF was commissioned to develop a website on sexual health and gender equality, focusing on human rights issues. The youmo.se website is available in Swedish, English, Arabic, Dari, Somali and Tigrinya.

    Sex attacks have been on the rise in Sweden over the last two years, particularly in and around asylum homes and at music festivals. Many cases have directly involved underage perpetrators and underage victims.

    To stop any harassment whatsoever, Falkenberg Municipality voiced plans to arrange a "man-free" festival, where only women will be admitted.

    Europe's Refugee and Migrant Crisis (200)


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    migrant crisis, sexual abuse, sex, Scandinavia, Sweden
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