Finland’s human rights record to be examined by UN Human Rights Council
Finland’s human rights record will be examined in the Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on 9 November. The review gives UN Member States the opportunity to ask Finland questions about our human rights record and give Finland recommendations. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will head Finland’s interministerial delegation.
Finland’s human rights record will be examined in the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva on 9 November. This is the fourth examination of Finland’s human rights record. In addition to Finland’s record, the current UPR session will examine the human rights record of 13 other countries, including the Netherlands, Poland, India, Brazil and South Africa. The session will take place from 7 to 18 November.
In Geneva, Foreign Minister Haavisto will also meet the newly appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Ghebreyesus, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, and representatives of international civil society organisations.
“Finland is committed to a continuous improvement of our human rights record. In this review, we will be highlighting our achievements and challenges, which we are always ready to discuss with other UN Member States. I am grateful for the strong contribution of civil society in this review,” Minister Haavisto says.
State-led peer review an important element of UN Human Rights Council’s work
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a state-led peer-review mechanism under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Through the UPR, the Human Rights Council reviews regularly, approximately every four years, how UN Member States have implemented their human rights obligations and commitments. UN Member States may ask the state under review questions about its human rights record and give it recommendations on how to improve it. The state under review gives the UNHRC a follow-up report on previous recommendations.
The UPR mechanism is an important element of the work of the UN Human Rights Council. It gives states an opportunity to discuss human rights matters in concrete terms. UN Member States are strongly committed to the UPR, which reinforces the mechanism’s effectiveness at country level as well.
Finland is strongly committed to the UPR mechanism. Finland takes an open and constructive view on the dialogue on Finland’s human rights record and the recommendations we receive. Finland will also give recommendations to other states under review.
Preparing for Finland’s review is a joint effort
Preparing for Finland’s UPR has been a joint effort of the entire government. Finland’s delegation is intersectoral and has representatives from nearly all Finnish ministries. In addition, it has three independent observer members. Civil society has been closely involved in preparing for Finland’s UPR.
The UPR is based on a national report on Finland’s human rights record that was issued in July 2022. Finland’s report describes the implementation of recommendations received during the 2017 UPR cycle and the progress achieved since then in the realisation of human rights. In addition, it discusses the challenges and limitations encountered in the implementation. The national report was prepared in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders. In addition, Finland’s UPR is based on a UN compilation of earlier conclusions and recommendations made to Finland by UN human rights agencies and a stakeholder summary of information provided by civil society organisations and the national human rights institution (Finland’s Human Rights Centre).
Coinciding with Finland’s UPR, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will organise an event for civil society organisations in Helsinki. The event will be hosted by Rauno Merisaari, Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy. The examination of Finland’s human rights record is public, and it can be viewed live at UN Web TV.
The Human Rights Council is the UN’s most important intergovernmental body protecting and promoting human rights. Finland continues its long-standing commitment to the promotion of universal human rights. As a member of the Council, Finland strongly supports the independent work of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk and of his Office as well as the independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council, who monitor different human rights situations and report on them to the Council. Finland supports the participation of civil society actors and human rights defenders in the Council’s work and cooperates with them.
- Finland in Human Rights Council in 2022–2024
- UN Universal Periodic Review
- Permanent Mission of Finland in Geneva
- United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
- Suvi Tuominen, Counsellor, Unit for Human Rights Policy, tel. +358 295 350 735
- Mia Spolander, Legal Officer, Unit for Human Rights Courts and Conventions, tel. +358 295 350 666
- The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format [email protected].