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Legislation Impacting Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Radicalisation Efforts

Legislation Impacting Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Radicalisation Efforts

In general, Finland does not have laws that could be considered outright discriminatory against minorities. However, there are certain provisions that could potentially have an indirect adverse effect on certain groups of the population.

For example, recommendations by the Finnish Social Service contain allegations that Russian women are predisposed to violence against children. The Foreigners Act contains section 130, which states that at the request of the police or any other authority, a foreign national must present proof of identity, which increases the risk of racially motivated detentions, according to some experts. Article 121 of the same Act permits the detention of foreign nationals in order to establish their identity in situations where “taking into account personal and other circumstances, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that he/she intends to commit a crime in Finland”.

Gender identity is not included in the list of subjects protected by anti-discrimination legislation in Finland.

Additionally, legislation in Finland contains discrimination against “unofficial churches”, which include all religious organisations, except Evangelical Lutheran and Orthodox churches - Jehovah's Witnesses, the Free Church of Finland, the Catholic Church of Finland, the Adventist Church, the Mormon Church of Finland, Pentecostals and several others.

These “unofficial churches” are excluded from benefiting from the special church tax (1% - 2.25% of revenue), which is derived on the basis of citizens’ voluntary disclosure regarding their membership in a particular religious organisation. In 2012, more than 20,000 people left the church and, in accordance with the law, stopped paying this tax. 4% of those indicated the tax charge as the reason for leaving.

The Law on Non-Discrimination, adopted in 2014, already contains a clause in section 2 that it does not apply to family relations, religious and private life. The changes did not affect the so-called. "non-traditional" religious organizations. The law itself does not contain a separate list of criteria on which discrimination is prohibited .

As stated in Finnish Police clarification in 2020, Finnish law "does not there is one generally accepted definition of hate crime In practice, a hate crime is usually understood to mean any criminal act motivated by prejudice or hostility towards groups of people that the victim represents.The group can be an ethnic group or a group based on sexual orientation, etc. e. The victim does not have to be a member of the group, it is enough that the perpetrator thinks so. The victim can also be targeted because he or she has a close relationship with someone belonging to the group, or some other connection with group".

The act can be any criminal offense under Finnish law. The motive is important. The act may be, for example, defamation, discrimination, assault or criminal damage. A more severe sentence may be imposed if the motive for the act is the race, color, origin, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability of the victim.

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