In its 2022 activities, the HRC paid particular attention to enhancing the national implementation of decisions made by international monitoring bodies
Oct 2, 2023
In 2022, the Human Rights Centre strengthened the knowledge base on the state of fundamental and human rights in Finland and developed systematic national monitoring of fundamental and human rights. The Centre also published an extensive report on the national fundamental and human rights structure and its current state in order to clarify and strengthen the structures. The Human Rights Centre was actively involved in monitoring the implementation of international human rights conventions.
In 2022, the Human Rights Centre focused on strengthening the rule of law and rights of the individual. At the same time, the systematic development of monitoring continued. The aim is to develop a comprehensive situational overview of the fundamental and human rights situation in Finland to promote fundamental and human rights and to support decision-making.
Serious shortcomings in the national implementation of international supervisory bodies' decisions still remain
Particular attention was paid to improving the national implementation of decisions issued by treaty bodies. In 2022, there were still shortcomings in the implementation of the decisions of the Council of Europe's monitoring bodies for human rights conventions. Of the judgments issued by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), 18 were partially unimplemented, nine of which are leading cases requiring, inter alia, legislative changes. The average implementation period for leading cases in Finland was 11 years and 11 months at the end of 2022.
The UN's Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which began in autumn 2022, issued a total of 229 recommendations to Finland focused especially on violence against women, racism, hate speech and discrimination in general. Before the review, the Human Rights Centre was consulted by the diplomatic missions in Geneva and submitted its own report on the human rights situation in Finland to the UN. The embassies of different countries located in Finland were also informed of the Human Right Centre's recommendations for a periodic review.
Practices supporting the self-determination of persons with disabilities were strengthened
Promoting the rights of older people was one of the Human Right Centre's focus areas for 2022. At the September session of the UN Human Rights Council, Finland received a report on the situation of the rights of the elderly in Finland made by an independent expert. In connection with the processing of the report and the session of the Human Rights Council, the Human Rights Centre also organised the first side event in its history on the rights of older people belonging to minorities and indigenous peoples.
As part of its special task of promoting the fundamental and human rights of persons with disabilities, the Human Rights Centre further developed its self-determination tool that supports housing services. The development work was carried out in extensive stakeholder cooperation with supervisory authorities, other authorities and representatives of NGOs.
The first programme period of youth experts strengthened young people's voice in fundamental and human rights issues
In 2022, the voice of young people in fundamental and human rights issues and the activities of the Human Rights Centre were also strengthened by launching the Youth Expert Programme. During the first programming period, the activities of the programme were planned, young people's views and experiences of human rights issues were heard, and networks were created both in the field of human rights and youth activities. Among other things, the programme increased awareness of the human rights dimension of mental health among young people.
National and international cooperation
In October 2022, the Human Rights Delegation of the Human Rights Centre's broad-based cooperation body issued a statement on strengthening the protection of human rights defenders. In addition to human rights defenders, the delegation discussed at its meetings, among other things, the impacts of the war in Ukraine on the human rights situation, the assessment of the fundamental and human rights impacts of government proposals and the implementation of Marin’s term’s Government Programme on Fundamental and Human Rights.
In addition to national measures, in 2022 the Human Rights Centre also engaged in close international cooperation with the European Network of Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) in working groups on economic and social rights, the rights of persons with disabilities, the rights of the elderly, corporate responsibility and migration, as well as with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the Council of Europe. In March 2022, Sirpa Rautio, Director of the Human Rights Centre, was elected President of ENNHRI for a three-year term. In 2022, ENNHRI supported the Ukrainian Human Rights Institution and the rule of law development and acted as a mediator on humanitarian issues. Under the chairman's leadership, the ENNHRI delegation studied the crisis areas and monitored the refugee situation in Poland and at the Polish-Ukraine border. In addition to European cooperation, there was cooperation with the UN institutions.
A report on Finnish fundamental and human rights actors carried out in cooperation with stakeholders produced information on such matters as competences, independence, cooperation and coordination as well as observations on the national entity of human rights actors. In addition to the recommendations on strengthening structures, the process strengthened interaction between national human rights actors. The report was published in Parliament in June 2022 in connection with the Human Right Centre's 10th anniversary ceremony.
Expert Susan Villa, email@example.com, tel. +358 (0)9 4323738