Individual and collective complaints

A natural or a legal person may file a complaint against the state of Finland if a domestic authority has, through its actions, violated their rights safeguarded by an international human rights convention.

In accordance with the general principles of international law, the most important requirement for filing a complaint is that all relevant national legal remedies must have been exhausted. In general this means that a case must have been heard at the courts of the highest instance (in Finland the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court).

Human rights complaints are handled by the judicial review bodies established under the United Nations and the Council of Europe.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Committee on Social Rights (ECSR) operate under the Council of Europe.

Seven further bodies operate under the UN:

  • the Human Rights Committee,

  • the Committee against Torture,

  • the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women,

  • the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 

  • the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

  • the Committee on the Rights of Children and

  • the Committee on the Rights of Disabled Persons and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances.