The Finnish Government adopted a National Action Plan on Fundamental and Human Rights
De facto implementation of fundamental and human rights is vital. This is the starting point for the new action plan that the Government adopted in its session today. The objective of the National Action Plan on Fundamental and Human Rights 2012-2013 is to concretise the provision of the Constitution according to which the public authorities shall guarantee the observance of fundamental and human rights. The National Action Plan focuses on concrete projects that promote this objective.
No national human rights action plan has previously been drawn up in Finland. The decision to draft the National Action Plan is based on the Government Programme. The Parliament, when reviewing the human rights policy report of 2009, required that such an action plan be drawn up. In accordance with the Government Programme, the Government will towards the end of this parliamentary term submit to the Parliament a report including an assessment of the implementation of the objectives set in this Action Plan.
The major human rights challenges in Finland and the role of the authorities in securing the fundamental and human rights are examined in the National Action Plan. The objectives include developing the functioning of the administration in order to make it more aware of the fundamental and human rights implications of its work as well as developing new tools, indicators, to be used in observing whether these rights have been realised.
The Action Plan includes several projects through which the Government aims at promoting the implementation of fundamental and human rights in 2012 and 2013. The list is not exhaustive; instead, there are several other ongoing legislative and development projects which also aim at promoting the implementation of these rights. The goal of the Action Plan is to set up such procedures for the systematic monitoring of the fundamental and human rights situation in Finland that enable efficient and systematic intervention should any problems be observed.
The individual projects in the Action Plan have been linked to the fundamental rights provisions in the Constitution as well as to the international human rights treaties. They have been arranged into 12 thematic entities according to the area of life they deal with. The Action Plan encompasses altogether 67 projects and all the ministries participate in their implementation. The projects form an extensive collection of different types of measures which cover both the development of cooperation between the different authorities and other actors in the field of fundamental and human rights as well as the promotion of the rights of individual groups.
The Action Plan has been drafted in as transparent interaction as possible with the different counterparts like NGOs. The working group that drafted the Action Plan was supported in its work by a panel consisting of human rights organisations and representatives of fundamental and human rights research and of the different ombudsmen. Citizens' views were heard in a discussion organised in the web forum of the state administration, Otakantaa.fi.
An English translation of the Action Plan will be available in a few weeks.
Robin Harms, Political Adviser of Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson, tel.09 1605 67506 ,
Johanna Suurpää, chairperson of the working group preparing the Action Plan, Director of the Unit, Ministry of Justice, tel. 09 1606 7800, and
Kaisa Tiusanen, secretary of the working group, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Justice, tel. 09 1606 7953,