Finland is a great country when it comes to good laws that promote social equality. The latest non-discrimination act, which came into force in 2015, is a case in point. Such laws are important in the face of ever-growing social inequality and polarization of society.
Migrant Tales has written recently how the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä has failed in containing ever-growing racism, bigotry and hate speech in Finland.
Instead of challenging such social ills, the government comprised of the anti-immigration populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, Center Party and National Coalition Party, it has passed laws that fuel greater social inequality. One worth mentioning is the tightening of family reunification guidelines.
So what are some important points of the new non-discrimination act and how does it differ from the previous one?
The new non-discrimination act also offers improvements in the monitoring and challenging discrimination at the workplace. The definition of discrimination has been broadened in the new act and also applies as well to religious, sexual minorities, transgender groups as opposed to only ethnic minorities. Companies with over 30 staffers have to draft their own non-discrimination plan.
Read the full story here.
The new act has encouraged the National Board of Education (OPH) to pass new guidelines on how to promote greater gender equality. According to the OPH, the new guidelines do not only concern gender but migrants and minorities at school as well.
“They too have to be treated in such a way that promote social equality in the classroom,” an OPH press officer told Migrant Tales.
Even so, PS chairman and foreign minister, Timo Soini, called the whole OPH guidelines as “rampant humbug.”
Here is a government official who considers social equality “rampant humbug.”
What does that tell you about today’s Finland and the path it is forging for itself.
I would be worried, very worried, about where we’re heading.
* 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.”