Sampo Terho (BR), the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, was photographed in the reception hall of the Finnish Parliament House on Friday, 18 January 2019. (Credit: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)

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THE FINNISH Ministry for Foreign Affairs will review Finland’s international agreements in order to determine if they could be amended to enable better management and control of immigration policy.

The Finnish government convened twice last week to weigh up its response to revelations about serious sex crimes against children in Helsinki and Oulu, North Ostrobothnia.

The Blue Reform on Tuesday declared that it should be possible to deport people convicted of aggravated sex crimes also to countries where the security situation is so alarming that deportations would not otherwise be possible. Its proposal would necessitate a re-interpretation of both the constitution and the UN Refugee Convention.

Sampo Terho (BR), the Minister of European Affairs, Culture and Sports, underscored the importance of determining if there is room to re-interpret the treaties.

“The best way to fix the entire asylum system and its by-products would be to relocate the entire asylum process outside the EU. Finland, as the next holder of the union’s presidency, has an excellent opportunity to contribute to putting this into action,” he said.

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Antti Häkkänen (NCP), the Minister of Justice, shot down the proposal, arguing that it would be ill-advised to make hasty amendments to the constitution. He also pointed out that international agreements prohibit the deportation of individuals who could face the death sentence in their country of origin.

On Friday, the government revealed it has also examined the situation of unsuccessful asylum seekers, saying it is necessary to enhance removals particularly in regards to Iraq.

The announcement was met with dismay by experts in gender issues, human rights and international law.

“I was struck speechless by the announcement that the need to amend international agreements will be examined. I don’t have the words to describe my astonishment,” tweeted Elina Pirjatanniemi, a professor of constitutional and international law at Åbo Akademi University.

Anu Koivunen, a professor of gender studies at the University of Tampere, said the government is re-defining what is normal.

“The limits of normality are changing. I’m still speechless. I would’ve never thought we’d embark on this road,” she commented on Twitter on Saturday.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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