European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Fourth report on Finland [en] - [fr] - [fin]

Press Release – 09.07.2013

Finnish version

Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission publishes new report on Finland

Strasbourg, 09.07.2013. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published its fourth report on Finland. ECRI’s Chair, Ms Eva Smith, welcomed positive developments, but regretted that a number of concerns persisted. For example, immigrants still suffer discrimination in various fields including employment and the Aliens’ Act contains discriminatory provisions.

Criminal law punishing offences motivated by “race”, colour, ethnic or national origin, religion and beliefs was improved; a Discrimination Monitoring Group was established to gather information on the efforts to combat discrimination; the national policy on Roma was published; and the residence period required for acquiring citizenship was reduced.

However, risk of racial profiling of visible minorities by the police remains; the National Discrimination Tribunal does not award compensation to victims of discrimination nor deals with cases of discrimination in employment or immigration matters; a shortage of human and financial resources affects the efficiency of the Ombudsman of Minorities and the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations.

In its report, ECRI has made a number of recommendations to the authorities, among which the following three require priority implementation and will be revisited by ECRI in two years’ time:

  • To expand the Ombudsman for Minorities’ field of activity and resources to combat discrimination on grounds of colour, language, religion or “race”;
  • To extend the scope of the National Discrimination Tribunal’s mandate in immigration matters and multiple discrimination;
  • To improve monitoring of racist acts, in particular concerning the follow-up given to them by the judiciary and the police.

The report is available here. It was prepared following ECRI’s contact visit to Finland in February-March 2012 [Press Release – 13.03.2012] and takes account of developments up to 22 June 2012.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as “race”, ethnic/national origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination); it prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

For more information on ECRI:

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28,