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Human rights and Finland's foreign policy

By means of its human rights policy, every country can play a role in shaping the present world and the world of the future generation (Picture: Council of the European Union)By means of its human rights policy, every country can play a role in shaping the present world and the world of the future generation (Picture: Council of the European Union)

Finland is an active promoter of human rights in all parts of the world. Human rights are among the priorities in Finland's foreign and security policy and they are addressed in all sectors consistently and with initiative.

Human rights are universal and belong to every human being. The first article of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

The universal nature of human rights is also by definition at the heart of Finland's human rights. The international community has negotiated and ratified agreements related to human rights. The promotion of human rights is not a western or culturally bound value but a genuinely global task and challenge.

Finland promotes human rights actively everywhere in the world. Human rights are among the priorities in Finland's foreign and security policy and they are addressed in all sectors consistently and with initiative. Transparency and cooperation with the civil society form the baseline for both Finnish and international human rights policy.

Finland lays special emphasis on the rights of women, children, minorities and indigenous peoples. These groups become more often than others subject to discrimination.

The European Union is a central channel of influence and action in Finland's human rights policy. The EU is committed to promoting respect for human rights all over the world. Finland's objective is to continue to enhance coherence in the EU's human rights policy and exert influence on the inclusion of human rights in all decision-making in the EU.

Finland's goal is a more effective international human rights system. The UN - and especially its Human Rights Council - as a global organisation is a key actor promoting the reinforcement of human rights in all parts of the world.

pdfGovernment report to Parliament on the human rights policy of Finland 2009 (PDF)

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