Council of Europe wants Finland to step up efforts to combat hate speech and xenophobia

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The Finnish government needs to take steps to combat hate speech, protect Samí rights and the Swedish language, according to the Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Apart from stepping up and taking concrete steps to challenge xenophobia in Finnish society, the police should increase recruitment of minorities in the police service, the advisory committee recommended.

Read the full statement here.

States the Council of Europe: “The Finnish government said in a comment, that a program to educate kindergarten teachers in Samí languages will be launched at the University of Oulu, receiving special funding by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The government also wrote that a training program on hate crime prevention for police officers is scheduled before end 2016.”

While on the surface there is nothing wrong with this statement, the question we should ask is how serious is the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä is in tackling hate speech, racism and bigotry in our society if those very social ills fester in the very parties that rule Finland today?

I’m talking about the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, the National Coalition Party (NCP) and his own Center Party, where you’ll find enough ethnic “intolerance” to torpedo any attempt to challenge xenophobia in Finland.

PS MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation, suggested this week that the police should be given special powers to to ethnically profile Muslims to fight jihadist terrorism.

If Finland is a country that abides by its Nordic values and believes in social equality, why is the Council of Europe asking Finland now to take concrete steps to combat xenophobia and hatred of minorities?

Is it because they have done little to nothing on this front, feeding migrants and minorities in Finland to hate speech and discrimination.

Nothing more than lip service and empty promises to social ills like rising racism, hate speech, and bigotry?

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.”