Finland ranks sixth in European comparison of LGBTQ+ rights, according to a report by the European umbrella organization ILGA-Europe. The report analyzed the human rights situation for sexual and gender minorities across 49 European countries, comparing their laws and government actions. Finland's position rose significantly from last year's twelfth place, and now fulfills 70% of the criteria necessary to ensure the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.
However, despite the legal recognition of gender identity, the lack of recognition of non-binary genders and the absence of legal protections for intersex children remain significant shortcomings.
The President of the Finnish LGBTQ+ organization Seta, Pekka Rantala, remarked that "the legal recognition of gender identity was a significant improvement in Finland, but the law was still incomplete. The incoming government must ensure the welfare and rights of trans children and adolescents by enabling gender identification for minors. Prejudice and fear-mongering must not hinder the strengthening of the rights of trans children and youth."
Finland's score could be improved by ending human rights violations against intersex people. In Finland, without the conscious consent of an intersex child, non-consensual, invasive surgeries and hormone treatments are allowed. This issue is not yet resolved, even though it was mentioned in the previous government program. Rantala states that "there is a gaping hole in the sateenkaari (rainbow) index concerning the bodily integrity of intersex people. Finland has not yet secured the physical integrity of intersex individuals, despite being mentioned in the previous government program. This is a serious human rights violation against children that needs to be urgently corrected. Finland must ensure that those who have suffered human rights abuses receive compensation."
The report revealed that LGBTQ+ rights have made significant progress across Europe despite widespread opposition and polarization. Malta topped the list with an 89% score, followed by Belgium and Denmark (both 76%), Spain (74%), and Iceland (71%). Azerbaijan (2%), Turkey (4%), and Armenia (9%) were ranked at the bottom. ILGA-Europe emphasizes the importance of politicians defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ people, saying that "rights-enhancing legislation sends a strong message of respect for human rights and human dignity."