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Press Releases, 5/15/2017

Recommendations to Finland from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Press release 86/2017
15 May 2017

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has considered the periodic report of Finland on the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination in 2015. The Committee published its conclusion in Geneva, Switzerland, on 12 May.

The Committee expressed its appreciation for the frank nature of Finland’s report and for the open and constructive manner of the dialogue with Finland. The Committee commended Finland for amendments to the Non-Discrimination Act, the ratification of several human rights’ conventions and protocols and the implementation of various Government projects and action plans, such as the National Action Plans on Fundamental and Human Rights and the Action Plan on Integration.

The Committee recommends that Finland effectively investigate racist hate speech and racially motivated violence and prosecute and sanction those responsible. Regarding asylum seekers, refugees and other vulnerable migrants the Committee recommends, among other measures, that Finland ensure that asylum seekers are not detained in a punitive setting. Finland should also maintain sufficient capacity in reception centres providing adequate shelter, basic services and humanitarian assistance.

Regarding Finland’s indigenous people, the Sámi, the Committee reiterates its recommendation that in defining who is eligible to vote for Members of the Sámi Parliament, Finland accord due weight to the rights of the Sámi people to self-determination concerning their status and the membership of their community. The Committee recommends Finland to find a solution to land disputes by revising the relevant legislation and taking into account the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. The Committee urges Finland to ratify this convention and obtain the free, prior and informed consent of the Sámi people prior to the approval of any project affecting the use and development of their traditional lands and resources.

The Committee also recommends that Finland strengthen its measures to integrate Roma into the labour and housing markets, include Roma children in education, combat discrimination against persons from perceived foreign backgrounds and promote the themes of tolerance, diversity and equality in school curricula.

Finland is requested to report on the implementation of some of the recommendations within one year. Finland’s next periodic report on the implementation of the convention is due in 2021.

The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendation as well as other related documents are available on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Inquiries: Krista Oinonen, Director, Unit for Human Rights Courts and Conventions, tel. +358 295 351 172.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format

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Updated 5/15/2017

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