Resources of the National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal still insufficient – ECRI’s mid-term evaluation published
May 13, 2022
In August 2019, in its fifth country report on Finland, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) issued 20 recommendations for the prevention of racism and intolerance. The Government was requested to report on two recommendations in 2021 as they were classified as urgent. These recommendations concerned the mandates of the National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal to deal with discrimination in employment, the Tribunal’s resources and the reform of the so-called Trans Act (Act on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals).
1) the National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal should be empowered to deal with complaints of discrimination in employment on all prohibited grounds and not solely on the grounds of gender and gender identity; the Tribunal should be empowered to grant compensation to victims of discrimination; and the resources of the Tribunal should be substantially increased to enable it to fully carry out its mandate; and
2) the authorities should primarily – and in conformity with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights – amend the Act on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals by removing the requirement that persons seeking recognition in a gender other than that in which they were originally registered should be infertile or should undergo sterilisation as a pre-condition for legal recognition.
In its conclusions published in March, ECRI states that neither of these recommendations has been implemented by the authorities.
The Human Rights Centre finds it extremely concerning that, although ECRI issued similar recommendations on the situation of the National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal in 2013, 2016, 2019 and now, in 2022, the problem has still not been resolved.
The Human Rights Centre participated in the mid-term evaluation in August 2019.