STOCKHOLM, Sweden, July 31 (UPI) -- Reference to race will be removed from all legislation in Sweden, the government announced Thursday.
Race is a social construct not applicable in law, it added.
"Legislation should not include the word race, if we argue that there are not actually races," Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag told Sveriges Television.
"I have wanted to remove the concept of race for a long time. We know that different human races actually do not exist. We also know that the fundamental grounds of racism are based on the belief that there are different races, and that belonging to a race makes people behave in a certain way, and that some races are better than others."
Austria and Finland have already removed race from their legislation. Sweden has the concept of race codified in about 20 laws pertaining to criminal codes, student financial aid and credit information.
Kitimbwa Sabuni, spokesman for Sweden's National Afro-Swedish Association, after concurring with the concept of race as a social construct, disagreed with the announcement.
"Just because it's a social construction doesn't mean it's not a reality," Sabuni told The Local.
"For us, this is just trying to take away the possibility to even talk about it. How can you apply for a grant for fighting racism if the concept of race doesn't exist in legislation? Racism will disappear de facto from the agenda. The government is lost in a fantasy, a fantasy which counteracts effective work against racism."