The Members of the Human Rights Delegation 2020-2024

Name:

Atik Ali

I act as... (my position):

Managing director of Lakiasiaintoimisto Allianssi Oy

My background briefly:

I am the convener of the Finnish Muslim Network. In 2018–2019, I worked as a member of the RADINET project steering group and since 2019 as a member of the UNIT service steering group of the Helsinki Deaconess Foundation. My research areas include Islamic modernism, especially with regard to gender equality.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Freedom of religion and conscience, preventing gender-based discrimination and promoting equality in the implementation of prison sentences.

Name:

Ingo Angersaari

I act as... (my position):

Project Manager for the project ‘Tuumasta töihin’ at Diaconia University of Applied Sciences (Diak).

My background briefly:

By training, I am a double Master of Social Sciences, a pre-school teacher and social educator. At the moment, I work at the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences as Project Manager for the project from Tuumasta töihin- sujuvat koulutuspolut toisella asteella (From ideas to work – smooth education tracks at the upper secondary level). I grew up in and continue to live within two different cultures: the mainstream Finnish culture and the Roma culture. My slogan, which I often repeat, is that ‘practice makes the professional, and the professional always keeps practising’.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

I am interested in everything, because the rights of different segments of the population and social groups always influence each other. I also have a particular interest in children's rights.

Name:

Laura Arikka

I act as... (my position):

Managing Director of Timeout Foundation

My background briefly:

I have worked in various human rights tasks in the third sector over the last decade, and particularly in the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church: as a human rights observer, trainer and expert. In my doctoral dissertation project, I also studied the international diplomacy of the World Council of Churches and human rights-based advocacy work. At the moment, my work is to support the growth of a more constructive societal discussion culture and thus the inclusion of different people, strengthening trust between people and social resilience.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Supporting quality between people and the rule of law and democracy by strengthening the opportunities of different people to participate and influence the development of their living environment, of their society and of Europe as a whole. Freedom of religion and conscience, human rights activities of the World Council of Churches. Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Name:

Anna Caldén

I act as... (my position):

Acting volunteer co-ordinator with Samarbetsförbundet kring funktionshinder (SAMS) in Ostrobothnia

My background briefly:

I am a qualified social worker (vocational qualification) and possess extensive experience in working with human rights. I served previously as chair of Samarbetsförbundet kring funktionshinder (SAMS), which provided me with expertise in human rights involving minorities, such as Swedish-speaking persons with disabilities. I have also served as a municipal politician for the past 16 years, and issues concerning persons with disabilities are of particular importance to me. I also work with Nordic issues and sit on the Council of Nordic Cooperation on Disability.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

I want to promote equality for all people. My primary focus is to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, women’s rights and language rights. The area I am most interested right now is monitoring how the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is applied in practice. I would also like to ensure the enactment of new legislation for persons with disabilities in Finland. Ensuring that each and every person has a secure livelihood and fighting to eradicate poverty are also important work goals.

Name:

Anca Enache

I act as... (my position):

Helsinki Deaconess Foundation sr

My background briefly:

I work as Development Manager in the International Affairs Unit of the Helsinki Deaconess Institute. The unit works to promote the human rights of people facing multiple discrimination in Finland and abroad, especially in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. A number of key priorities in the work are the rights of the Roma, the rights of Roma women, the rights of minorities, the rights of the undocumented, and social rights.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

The rights of Roma and Roma women, the rights of minorities, the rights of the undocumented and social rights.

Name:

Outi Haanperä

I act as... (my position):

Leading Specialist at Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra

My background briefly:

I am an economist (PhD) who is familiar with the impacts of the climate crisis and the task of mitigating them.  At the moment, I am a leading specialist in Sitra's Climate and Nature Solutions team.   

I have spent a large part of my life in the United Kingdom, first completing a doctoral dissertation at Sussex University and then working as an environmental economist in a consultancy company in London. I have also lived in Indonesia, Nicaragua and Ecuador, but at the moment my feet are planted firmly in Finland.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

In my master's studies at the University of Helsinki, I completed a minor in international law. For the past 10 years, I have become familiar with the social impacts of the climate crisis, and I would be particularly interested in work that promotes human rights from the perspectives of the climate crisis and business activities.

Name:

Kimmo Hakonen

I act as... (my position):

Intelligence Ombudsman (on leave from the post of Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Chancellor of Justice).

My background briefly:

One key theme running through my career has been the competence of security authorities. I have been able to examine these powers from the perspective of a drafter of legislation, a teacher, a lawyer and the controller of legality.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Balancing the fundamental rights of individuals (in particular the protection of privacy) and collective national security concerns. In my opinion, maintaining national security is ultimately about protecting the democratic rule of law and its fundamental system of rights.

Name:

Esa Iivonen

I act as... (my position):

Mannerheim League for Child Welfare

My background briefly:

As a leading specialist in the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, I am responsible for promoting children's rights and influencing child and family policy. I am a lawyer by training. At the moment, I am a member of the children’s rights-based Secretariat of the National Strategy for Children, and I am also a member of the Advisory Committee on Children's Rights. Over the years, I have been involved in a number of public administration and civil society institutions, working groups and networks.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Fundamental rights and human rights of children and young people, economic, social and cultural fundamental rights and human rights, and issues related to the implementation and monitoring of fundamental rights and human rights.

Name:

Juuso Tuomas Aslak

I act as... (my position):

President of the Sámi Parliament

My background briefly:

I am in my third term as a member of the Sámi Parliament, and I was elected President of the Sámi Parliament in February 2020. I have previously served as Chair of the Finnish Sámi Youth Association, Chair of the UN Alliance of Indigenous Youth and a member of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs in connection with the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. I have also been involved in many of the negotiating processes of the UN, such as the negotiations on the renewal of the EMRIP mandate, the right of indigenous peoples to participate in the UN and the final document of the UN World Conference.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

The rights of indigenous peoples are important to me. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the reason why I joined the first Sámi Parliament elections.

Name:

Anu Juvonen

I act as... (my position):

Chief Executive Officer at Demo ry

My background briefly:

For almost 20 years, I have been working in the field of international cooperation with a strong focus on human rights. 

I have worked for a number of years with a particular emphasis on development policy and development cooperation both in the NGO sector and also as a civil servant and consultant. Since 2016, I have been the CEO of Demo ry. I also serve on the boards of both the European Partnership for Democracy and the Global Partnership for Multiparty Democracy, both in the Development Policy Committee and in the Sustainable Development Committees, for the period 2020–2024.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Constitutional states, civil and political rights (including the effects of the pandemic), fundamental rights and human rights of vulnerable persons, the synergy of human rights and democracy, the international dimension (in particular EU policy and the 2030 Agenda), and the policies and reports of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Name:

Marja Jylhä

I act as... (my position):

Professor of Gerontology at the University of Tampere and Gerontology Research Centre, Centre of Excellence in Ageing and Nursing Research.

My background briefly:

I have a medical training, but my research combines health and social sciences research. I work together with my multidisciplinary research group, which has about 15 members, in the study of the health, functional capacity, social well-being, and personal agency of elderly people, as well as the question of what the ageing of the population means for society and how society is responding to it.  I am involved in many Finnish and international research projects and research policy projects. 

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Ageing-related issues, international and immigrant issues, gender-related issues and service related issues in general, as well as theoretical, conceptual and legal discussions on human rights.

Name:

Laura Kalliomaa-Puha

I act as... (my position):

University of Tampere, as a teacher and researcher of social rights

My background briefly:

I am a researcher who is particularly enthusiastic about social rights, and I teach social work students at the University of Tampere. I have been researching informal care, and recently I have been particularly thinking about the opportunities for combining informal care and gainful employment. I am currently working on issues of child protection, retrospective due process and people's access to their rights – how is it ensured that people are adequately informed about their rights and obligations and then find the help they need? Should legal documents also be approached in a different way?

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Social rights.

Name:

Arto Kallioniemi

I act as... (my position):

UNESCO Professor and Professor of Religious Didactics at the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Educational Science

My background briefly:

I have worked as a teacher trainer for a long time and I have been interested in and done research on a number of issues, particularly those relating to worldview equality and to religion and ethics. In recent years, I have shifted more towards human rights education and research on this topic. Together with the HRC, we have implemented a project on democracy and human rights education, which has helped to strengthen awareness of human rights in schools and educational institutions.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Questions related to freedom of conscience, ethics education and human rights education.

Name:

Sakris Kupila

I act as... (my position):

Chair of Seta ry

My background briefly:

I have a bachelor's degree in medicine and am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Helsinki. At the moment, I am the Chair of the human rights organisation Seta, which promotes the rights of sexual and gender minorities. 

I have many years of experience in national and international human rights work. In addition to my work with Seta, I have worked for human rights and fundamental rights with the European Commission, the Family Federation of Finland and Amnesty International.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Gender equality, the rights of sexual minorities and gender minorities, sexual rights, and a variety of issues related to the social and health care sector primarily from the minority perspective.

Name:

Niina Laajapuro

I act as... (my position):

Director of Human Rights at Amnesty International Finland

My background briefly:

Human rights have been a central part of my studies and my career. I am a Master of Social Sciences, and I also have an MBA. I have worked in different positions for Amnesty Finland for around 20 years. My responsibilities have covered campaigning, influencing, research and management. In my work, I have been able to have an influence on several Finnish human rights structures and have been involved in setting up a number of different organisational networks.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Violence against women, discrimination against sexual and gender minorities, rights of refugees and migrants, online surveillance and human rights education, economic and social rights issues, climate change as a human rights issue, development of the international human rights system and national human rights structures and structural issues.

Name:

Janne Laukkanen

I act as... (my position):

Director of Communications and Public Relations at the Association of Finnish Lawyers

My background briefly:

I am a lawyer and communications professional with a broad interest in fundamental rights and human rights. In my daily work, I am the Director of Communications and Public Relations at the Association of Finnish Lawyers. I am also the editor-in-chief of the Lakimiesuutiset magazine published by the Association of Finnish Lawyers. My positions of trust include chairing the Human Rights Delegation and the Council of Ethics for Communication (VEN). 

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

I am particularly interested in communication on fundamental rights and human rights. The rights of minorities and other vulnerable people in particular must be developed and upheld.

Name:

Jukka Maarianvaara

I act as... (my position):

Ombudsman for Equality

My background briefly:

I have been the Ombudsman for Equality since spring 2017, and my term of office is set for five years. By training, I am a Master of Laws trained on the bench. Before my current position, I worked for 14 years at the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals Tehy, so equality issues in working life are particularly close to my heart.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Gender equality issues, especially as regards working life and the fundamental rights and human rights of gender minorities.

Name:

Pirkko Mahlamäki

I act as... (my position):

Secretary-General of the Finnish Disability Forum

My background briefly:

I am a Master of Philosophy and Law, and I am the Secretary-General of the Disability Forum and a member of the Equality Board. I took part in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee which prepared the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as an expert member of the Finnish delegation. I also participate in the Council of Nordic Cooperation on Disability. Disability issues and the promotion of equality are the most important themes in my advocacy work. 

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Reasonable adaptations on the basis of disability, equality issues, and the promotion of the employer status and independent life of persons supported by a personal assistant

Name:

Yrjö Mattila

I act as... (my position):

Legal Consultant for Carers Finland, Chair of Suomen sosiaalioikeudellinen seura, Member of the Asikkala church council and parish board, Deputy Chair of Päijät-Häme Carers' Association

My background briefly:

I am a Doctor of Social Sciences, Licentiate of Law and Master of Laws trained on the bench. I worked as a trade union lawyer for 13 years and then worked in different positions for Kela. While I was at Kela, I was involved in many EU-funded international aid projects in Eastern Europe as an expert in sickness insurance. I have also been on the board of Carers Finland for almost 30 years, and I continue to participate in the Strategy Committee of Eurocarers, the European network representing informal carers and their organisations.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Social and health security, social insurance, income security, labour legislation, international social rights conventions. Interpretations of the Constitution of Finland, basic security and its level in Finland, various areas of social security, the rights of the elderly, informal care, health security, social rights in international agreements and their application in Finland, and Finnish refugee policy.

Name:

Kaari Mattila

I act as... (my position):

Secretary-General of the Finnish League for Human Rights

My background briefly:

I have worked for a long time on human rights issues in different areas, roles and locations: in civil society, as a University researcher, and as an expert at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Over the past few years, I have worked as an NGO director and focused on influencing Finland's implementation of its human rights obligations. I am also a member of the Executive Board of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

National human rights policy as a whole and how it can be strengthened, including the implementation of economic and social rights, issues of discrimination and serious labour exploitation, and linking discrimination to other human rights problems.

Name:

Anna Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen

I act as... (my position):

Lecturer in Elder Law in the UEF Law School at the University of Eastern Finland.

My background briefly:

I defended my doctoral dissertation on the legal status of persons with dementia at the University of Helsinki in 2003. I am a Docent of Family Law at the University of Helsinki and a Docent of Elder Law at the University of Lapland. At the moment, I am the head of the sub-consortium for research projects that examine the special issues of working-age people with memory disorders and end-of-life informal care for elderly people.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Legal questions that particularly affect elderly people from the perspectives of both private law and social and medical law, the self-determination of elderly people and people with memory disorders, and the implementation of equal rights.

Name:

Kimmo Nuotio

I act as... (my position):

Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Helsinki

My background briefly:

I am a professor of criminal law at the University of Helsinki, and through my work in this area I have to some extent engaged with questions of fundamental rights and human rights. My own areas of interest have been more at the theoretical than the practical level. Among other things, I have been involved in cooperation with Chinese researchers. 

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Issues related to criminal law and criminal policy, hate speech and freedom of expression, issues related to the rule of law and legal development beyond the borders of Finland, and the connection between law and sustainable development. 

Name:

Tuomas Ojanen

I act as... (my position):

Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Helsinki

My background briefly:

I am a Doctor of Laws, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Helsinki, Docent of European Law at the University of Turku, Chair of the National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal (2015-2019 and 2019-2022) and Ad hoc judge serving in place of the judge elected to the European Court of Justice in respect of Finland (2017-2020). I have published several scientific monographs and numerous articles in foreign and domestic scientific publications.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

The Constitution of Finland and its systems of supervision, the Finnish system of fundamental rights; comparative constitutional law; European Union law, in particular its system of fundamental rights; international human rights conventions and their systems of supervision. 

My fields of particular interest include:  the relationships between different systems of protection, including systems of supervision; the ‘general lessons’ of fundamental rights and human rights; bans on discrimination; freedom of movement; freedom of religion and conscience; protection of privacy and personal data and fundamental environmental law; legal protection; fundamental rights and human rights in the social sphere.

Name:

Laura Okkonen

I act as... (my position):

Senior Human Rights Manager at Vodafone Group Plc

My background briefly:

I have worked in the information technology sector for a little over 20 years, and have been specialising in business and human rights issues ever since the UN published its Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In my work, I have specialised in human rights issues in the subcontracting chain (child labour, human trafficking, responsible treatment of labour) and also in the following areas: privacy, freedom of expression and equality. In other words, I have focused on how to guarantee all groups of people, regardless of age and socio-economic status, the right to and access to information and digital services.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Companies and human rights, COVID-19 and human rights.

Name:

Natalia Ollus

I act as... (my position):

Director of HEUNI

My background briefly:

By training, I am a Doctor of Laws and Master of Social Sciences. Research and development activities relating to fundamental rights and human rights have always been a central part of my work. In recent years, I have studied labour trafficking and the exploitation experienced by workers with a foreign background. I have also worked on human rights issues internationally, including work for the Finnish Mission at the UN in New York, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Security and Cooperation Organisation.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

The rights of victims of crime, the gender-related impacts of crime and its impacts on vulnerable persons, the different dimensions of the rule of law, including the fight against corruption.

Name:

Elina Pekkarinen

I act as... (my position):

Ombudsman for Children

My background briefly:

I am a researcher of childhood and youth, a docent at the University of Helsinki and a licensed social worker. In my career, I have held a number of positions of trust relating to child and youth issues, such as Chair of the Finnish Society for Child Research and as an expert member for child welfare at the Administrative Court of Helsinki.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Children's rights, youth rights, marginalisation, crime, and deviance.

Name:

Mikko Puumalainen

I act as... (my position):

Deputy Chancellor of Justice

My background briefly:

I am a lawyer by training. I have served as Deputy Chancellor of Justice from 2007 to 2014 and then again from 2018 to the present. I have held a number of positions of trust and have published jurisprudential articles on constitutional and EU law.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Constitutional law and EU law.

Name:

Lea Rankinen

I act as... (my position):

Director of Sustainability and Public Affairs at Paulig Oy

My background briefly:

I have been working for 18 years in the field of corporate responsibility in the trade, services and food industry, with responsibility for strategic development, reporting and stakeholder work related to corporate responsibility. Since 2016, I have been a member of the board of amfori – Trade with Purpose, a global corporate responsibility network. I have nearly 15 years of experience in promoting labour rights and human rights in the business sector, with a particular focus on global supply chains.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, due diligence, respect for human rights in business operations, human rights principles, risk management and measuring of impacts, and accessibility of services.

Name:

Maija Sakslin

I act as... (my position):

Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman

My background briefly:

I am a Licentiate of Law by training. I have worked as an assistant at the University of Helsinki, as a researcher at the Institute of International Economic Law, and as a chief researcher in the Research Department of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. I served as Chair and member of the Management Board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights between 2010 and 2015. Honorary Doctor of Laws 2019.

In addition, I have been involved in various specialist tasks connect with the Constitution and its reform, evaluation and modification and, in particular, with both Finnish and European working groups, expert committees and research projects working on social security-related issues.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

The Constitution and fundamental rights, social security and the division of competences between the EU and its Member States.

Name:

Mirva Salminen

I act as... (my position):

Researcher, Northern Institute of Environmental and Minority Law (PYVI), the University of Lapland Arctic Centre

My background briefly:

I graduated as a Master of Social Sciences from the University of Tampere in 2010. My major was in international politics, and security research is a particular area of interest for me. Since then, I have worked as a researcher/specialist for companies, universities and research institutes, publishing articles primarily on topics of cybersecurity and the commercialisation of security. My doctoral dissertation in the field of the politics on digitalisation and cybersecurity in northern Europe will be completed in autumn 2020.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Issues of equality and of fundamental rights and human rights that relate to the digitalisation of society and cybersecurity.

Name:

Nitin Sood

I act as... (my position):

Non-discrimination Adviser of the City of Helsinki.

My background briefly:

My life has largely been defined by the desire to build a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable world, which is why I have been working in the area of human rights since a young age. I studied world politics and global justice at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and political science at the University of Helsinki. I am also active in civil society, which, in my opinion, plays a key role in promoting human rights both nationally and internationally.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Human rights themes related to equality and non-discrimination, such as anti-racism activities, the rights of sexual and gender minorities, sexual and reproductive health rights, the prevention of violence against women and gender mainstreaming, digital violence, data biases and the impact of artificial intelligence on discrimination, and the role of technology in the global south in the development of women's political and social capacity.

Name:

Kristina Stenman

I act as... (my position):

Non-Discrimination Ombudsman

My background briefly:

I graduated as a Master of Laws in 1991. I have worked at the Finnish Refugee Advice Centre as an asylum lawyer and Executive Director until 2006. After that, I worked as a researcher at the Institute for Human Rights at Åbo Akademi University and as an assistant for the UN Special Rapporteur. From 2007 to 2010 I worked as the Deputy Mayor of Vaasa, and from 2011 to 2016 in the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment as the Migration Director. I was also the Chair of the Advisory Board for International Human Rights Affairs from 1996 to 2003 and the Vice-Chair until 2007, and a member of the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations and Chair of the Working Committee from 2011 to 2016. Before my post as the Non-discrimination Ombudsman, I was the Mayor of Pietarsaari from 2016 to 2020.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Intervening in discrimination, promoting equality and influencing legislation and the practices of authorities.

Name:

Katariina Suomu

I act as... (my position):

Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society Finland

My background briefly:

By training, I am a Master of Social Sciences and a sociologist. I have mainly worked in various development and management positions in social and health care sector organisations.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Issues related to the everyday life and life situations of people with memory disorders, obstacles to the realisation of their rights and, on the other hand, the opportunities for civil society groups such as NGOs to promote human rights, and equality issues and the rights of minorities.

Name:

Leena Suurpää

I act as... (my position):

Finnish Red Cross, Youth Shelters

My background briefly:

I am an specialist in issues relating to youth, intergenerational relations and equality. Since the mid-1990s, I have been working in the field of multidisciplinary youth research, where my area of special interest has been phenomena and issues related to the realisation of young people's rights, whether this relates to services and interactions with authorities or civil society, leisure time and relationships with others. My doctoral dissertation and subsequent research has focused on both young people and also multiculturalism and discrimination/non-discrimination, with a particular focus on racism in everyday life. 

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Young people, families, intergenerational relations, equality, non-discrimination, civil society.

Name:

Anu Talus

I act as... (my position):

Data Protection Ombudsman

My background briefly:

I have served as the Data Protection Ombudsman since autumn 2020. I am M.A. and Doctor of Laws by training. Before my current position, I worked as Deputy Data Protection Ombudsman in the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman. My previous posts include Senior Adviser, Legislative Affairs and Special EU Adviser in the Ministry of Justice.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Rights of the data subjects in a digital realm, balancing the protection of personal data and the principle of openness, cross-border personal data processing.

Name:

Antti Teittinen

I act as... (my position):

Head of Research at the Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Docent of Disability Research at the University of Eastern Finland, Docent of Special Education at the University of Helsinki.

My background briefly:

My career as a researcher at the University of Jyväskylä and the Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has focused on the human rights of persons with disabilities. I have been the Chair of the Finnish Society for Disability Research. In addition, I have actively participated between 2016 and 2020 in the work of both the Human Rights Delegation and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including involvement in seminars and training events. I also have international research and development experience in the human rights of persons with disabilities.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities and scientific research on the topic as part of the more general implementation of fundamental rights and human rights. Research into fundamental rights and human rights policy.

Name:

Astrid Thors

I act as... (my position):

Different organs of cultural and educational institutions and several international organisations

My background briefly:

I am a Master of Laws trained on the bench and I have worked as a lawyer in the municipal sector. I was a MEPP between 1996 and 2004, and I have been a Member of Parliament since 2013. I have also served as Minister for Migration and European Affairs and as the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. Between 2011 and 2013, I served as Chair of the Advisory Board on International Human Rights, and thus also a member of the board. I have also served in Parliament as a member of the Constitutional Law Committee.

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

Minority issues, digitalisation and human rights, the status of human rights defenders, rule of law issues, matters related to foreigners and integration.

Name:

Jukka Viljanen

I act as... (my position):

Professor of Public Law at the University of Tampere.

My background briefly:

I have been doing human rights research for a long time. In 2003, I defended my doctoral dissertation on the principles of interpretation within the European Court of Human Rights at the University of Tampere, and after that I have held research and teaching positions at the universities of Tampere and Vaasa. I have taught on both the international and the Finnish human rights systems. Currently, I am leading the ALLYOUTH project, which is funded by the Strategic Research Council and seeks to examine the obstacles to participation by young people. I also participate in the EU-funded Global Digital Human Rights Network. 

Special areas of expertise or interest in basic and human rights:

The European Convention on Human Rights, the interpretive practices of the European Court of Human Rights, international human rights conventions and their monitoring systems, general studies on fundamental rights, freedom of expression and digital media, fundamental and human rights issues related to intelligence gathering, fundamental environmental rights and issues related to young people’s participation rights.