ECRI delivers its recommendations to Finland
Press release 148/2013
9 July 2013
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has on 9 July published its fourth country report on Finland, complete with recommendations.
The fourth round country-by-country reports focus on implementation and evaluation. They assess the extent to which ECRI’s main recommendations from previous reports have been followed and include an evaluation of policies adopted and measures taken. The reports also include an analysis of current developments in the country in question.
Priority implementation is requested for a number of specific recommendations chosen from those made in the new report of the fourth round. ECRI will conduct an interim follow-up concerning these specific recommendations within two years of the publication of this report.
In its fourth country report on Finland, ECRI submits 49 different recommendations.
ECRI recommends that the Finnish authorities
- ratify ILO Convention no. 169 on Tribal and Indigenous Peoples in Independent Countries as soon as possible;
- improve measures taken to ensure the monitoring of racist acts, in order to establish how these are dealt with by the competent authorities, namely the police, the prosecution service and the courts;
- extend the Ombudsman for Minorities’ field of activity by empowering her to bring matters before the courts propio motu and to deal with complaints of discrimination on grounds of skin colour, language, religion or “race”;
- permit the Ombudsman for Minorities to open local and regional branch offices. ECRI stresses the need for the Ombudsman for Minorities to be provided with the requisite human and financial resources to allow the implementation of these recommendations;
- extend the scope of the National Discrimination Tribunal’s mandate to enable it to award damages to victims, to give it a role in immigration matters and to empower it to address cases of multiple discrimination;
- allocate to the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations, including its regional advisory boards, the financial and human and resources necessary to enable it to fulfil its new mandate;
- take further measures to combat the discrimination experienced in the employment sector by groups of concern to ECRI, by ensuring, among other things, more rigorous implementation of the relevant legislation and by ensuring that employers and employment agencies are made more aware of the problems;
- take measures to teach the Sámi culture and this minority’s contribution to the country in schools and to increase awareness of the Sámi people among the majority population, including by conducting awareness-raising campaigns;
- implement the national policy on Roma without delay and allocate the necessary human and financial resources. Furthermore ECRI recommends that the authorities take steps to combat prejudice against Roma, among others things by conducting awareness-raising campaigns concerning the contribution by this minority to Finnish society;
- take measures to combat the discrimination and prejudice suffered by Russian by Russian-speakers, particularly in the area of employment;
- draw on its General Policy Recommendation no. 11 on combating racism and racial discrimination in policing, in particular section I, in order to combat any risk of racial profiling of visible minorities by the police when enforcing the Aliens’ Act.
ECRI visited Finland from 27 February to 2 March 2012.
The Commission is composed of independent and impartial members, who are appointed on the basis of their moral authority and recognised expertise in dealing with racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance.
ECRI’s statutory activities include country-by-country monitoring and analyses of the situation in each Member State regarding racism and intolerance. Based on this work ECRI draws up suggestions and proposals for dealing with the problems identified.
All Member States of the Council of Europe receive equal treatment in ECRI’s country-by-country monitoring. The Commission’s work is organised in 4–5 year cycles, with 9–10 countries covered during each cycle. The reports of the first round were completed at the end of 1998, those of the second round at the end of 2002, and those of the third round at the end of 2007. Work on the fourth round reports started in January 2008.
The methods used in preparing country reports include documentary analyses, a contact visit to the country concerned, followed by confidential discussions with the national authorities.
Inquiries: Counsellor Jaakko Halttunen, tel. +358 295 351 170, Head of Unit Arto Kosonen, tel. +358 295 351 171, Unit for Human Rights Courts and Conventions, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission publishes new report on Finland