Amnesty slams Finland for violence against women, detention of under-age migrants

Niina Laajapuro, the executive director of Amnesty Finland, says she is astounded by how slowly the efforts to combat violence against women have progressed in Finland.

Human rights and the institutions safeguarding them are in danger, Amnesty International warns in its latest report on the state of human rights in 160 countries.

“The human rights system is being questioned around the world more fiercely than ever before. Statements that call into question international agreements and human rights have been heard increasingly also in Finland,” Niina Laajapuro, the executive director of Amnesty Finland, states in a press release.

The human rights watchdog estimates that the absence of principled leadership has eroded the status of human rights as a cornerstone of democratic countries in Europe. The European Union, despite being the wealthiest economic area in the world, has failed to respond to the emergency of refugees in a way that is humane, cohesive and respectful of human rights.

Finland is singled out for criticism in the report due to its failure to provide support services for women who have experienced violence, to comply with recommendations on the detention of under-age asylum seekers and migrants, and to recognise the rights of trans-gender people.

“I continue to be astounded by how slowly the efforts to combat violence against women have progressed in Finland. The extent of the problem and the measures required to tackle it have been recognised for a long time, but these efforts are utterly under-funded,” says Laajapuro.

“Sufficient funding and concrete measures are finally needed.”

Amnesty International points out that although the detention of under 15-year-old unaccompanied migrants was prohibited under all circumstances in Finland in 2015, 15–17-year-old migrants can be detained for up to 72 hours to await for their removal from the country.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva