Queen on two-day visit to Östersund

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The Queen at the Östersund conference on human trafficking. Photo: Tomas Ärlemo

On Wednesday 20 January, The Queen attended Europa Direkt - the county of Jämtland's conference in Östersund on human trafficking. The Queen visited the children's clinic at Östersund Hospital on Thursday 21 January.
The conference was opened by Mark Levengood, who read an extract from the book "Rosario is dead" by Maj-Gull Axelsson. After this an introductory speech was made by Pierre Schellekens, Head of the EU Commission in Sweden.

In her speech, The Queen expressed her "hope that today's conference will improve knowledge for all of us, knowledge that will inspire us to step up efforts to combat child sex tourism, child pornography and trafficking."

The Queen went on to say that "the sex trade with young children is contrary in every way to several articles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and has been defined by one UN rapporteur as a form of modern slavery.

UN figures indicate that there are a million underage victims every year. That means 3,000 children every day, or 125 every hour. Theses figures are proof of my conviction that the child sex trade is a crime against humanity; a crime that can be prevented and a kind of slavery that has to be stopped."

Other speakers included Pierre Schori from ECPAT Sweden, Gunilla Ekberg, international expert, Kajsa Wahlberg from the National Criminal Investigation Department (Rikskriminalpolisen), and Annika Qarlsson, representing the alliance government. Margareta Winberg was the moderator for the seminar.

The Queen spent the afternoon of Thursday 21 January visiting the children's clinic at Östersund Hospital.

She attended a brief seminar on the children's clinic and the Basse Foundation and was then given a guided tour.

The Basse Foundation was founded by Tina Henriksson and Hans Olofsson, the parents of Sebastian "Basse" Olofsson, who died at the age of five from a serious illness. Sebastian was treated at the children's and young people's clinic at Östersund Hospital.