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Republic of Finland

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Finland participates in international co-operation for the protection of peace and human rights and for the development of society.

Constitution of Finland, Section 1[1]

Human rights in Finland are protected by the constitution and extensive domestic safeguards, in addition to the country's active membership in most international human rights treaties.

Areas of continuing interest to international agencies that monitor human rights include:

  1. Conscientious objectors to both military and civilian service are jailed for six months. There are about 10-20 conscientious objectors every year. Most are in minimum security, open facilities, and objecting is not entered on criminal records.
  2. Charges of racist/xenophobic treatment of ethnic minorities by officials, and that refugees are hand-picked by the Ministry of the Interior on basis of country of origin citing "security reasons".
  3. A case in which agitated asylum seekers were drugged for deportation.[2]
  4. Unfair court action in the light of unacceptably delayed verdicts, in breach with the European Convention on Human Rights article 6§1. Handling time have been unacceptably long particularly in civil cases or criminal court cases relating to bankruptcy, e.g. eight years in the district court and 12 years in total.[3][4]

Mandatory options of civilian or military service were of unequal duration: civilian service 13 months, or one month longer than the longest conscript service (conscript officers and underofficers and certain specialists such as certain vehicle operators), 12 months, and 5 months longer than the average service in army, 8 months. Rebuttal of criticism of the length of civilian service often point out that whereas conscripts are often on duty around the clock (especially in the field), civilian servicemen often only work during office hours. However, an act enacted in 2008 changed civilian service to 12 months. Some 25% of conscripts serve 12 months, with the large majority serving 6 months.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Finnish Constitution in English (PDF) (unofficial translation)
  2. ^ "Perheen huumaaminen järkyttää" (in Finnish). Ilta-Sanomat. 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2009-09-07.   Translated quote: "Finland drugged a deported family. CPT finds Finland's behaviour unacceptable." Further references available at (pay-site).
  3. ^
  4. ^ Several European Court of Human Rights decisions, perhaps most famously application no. 61222/00 Uoti vs Finland.
  5. ^

External links

U.S. State Department Annual Reports



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