Antti Kaikkonen (right), the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, and Antti Lindtman (left), the chairperson of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group, spoke to reporters after a meeting of all parliamentary groups over the suspected sex crimes in Helsinki and Oulu. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

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ANTTI Kaikkonen, the chairperson of the Centre Parliamentary Group, announced yesterday all parliamentary groups have agreed to expedite three legislative projects in response to recent revelations about sex crimes against children in Helsinki and Oulu.

The proposals aim to prevent and introduce tougher punishments for sex crimes.

The parliamentary groups agreed to fast-track a legislative proposal to introduce tougher punishments for child sexual abuse and new provisions on rape of an underage person. The Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee is currently considering the proposal and will weigh up the possibility of increasing the punishments further, according to Kaikkonen.

The groups also intend to expedite a proposal to amend the legislation on processing personal data by police, arguing that it is a tools for authorities to prevent sex crimes.

The third and final legislative proposal identified as key by the parliamentary groups would amend the aliens act to allow authorities to strip people convicted of certain crimes of Finnish citizenship. The Constitutional Law Committee is currently discussing the proposal and should also consider adding aggravated sex crimes to the list of offences, according to the parliamentary groups.

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Kaikkonen pointed out that promoting legislative bills that have already been submitted for parliamentary consideration is one of the few options available to the groups with only a few months left to go in the electoral term.

He added that the parliamentary committees will schedule additional meetings for the weeks to come in order to move forward with the proposals. The ruling parties, meanwhile, have urged the committees to also submit proposals to supplement the budget to ensure the proposals can be passed.

Antti Lindtman, the chairperson of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group, drew attention to the exceptional nature of the joint declaration by the groups.

“This is the strongest message this house can send,” he said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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