War in Ukraine forces Finland to lurch to a dark place where human rights must eventually take a backseat

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The polarized debate in parliament Monday on renewing the Border Guard Act and Emergency Powers Act is just another example of how Finland has lurched into a dark place where human rights are a nuisance and should not take presedence The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS), with the helping hand of the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), and other minor parties like the Christian Democrats and Liike Nyt, are picking on their favorite target: asylum seekers.

According to some, the new laws are not in conflict with the EU, which does not allow member states to stop people from seeking asylum. Others, like European Union Institute professor of international law and human rights Martin Scheinin, believe the new laws will send Finland back thirty years.


Scheinin tweets: “Today, Parliament will finalize the content of the amendments to the Emergency Powers Act and the Border Guard Act. The idea is to introduce a constitutional derogation found in Section 23 of the Constitution, which deals with exemptions in times of crisis. This [the exemptions] turns back the clocks at least 30 years.” Section 23 of the Constitution states that fundamental rights and liberties in situations of emergency cannot breach its human rights obligations.

Here’s the question: Are the draft Border Guard Act and Emergency Powers Act in conflict with EU laws? Looking at parties like the PS and Kokoomus, who speak of asylum seekers as a threat to Finland, would be the first parties to trash human rights or severely water them down.

Listening to some of the arguments of MPs of these on Monday only reinforce my suspicions. With politicians like PS Chairperson Riikka Purra, it’s clear that the minority rights will not improve in Finland but get worse.

Listening to some of the arguments of MPs of these on Monday only reinforce my suspicions. With politicians like PS Chairperson Riikka Purra, it’s clear that the minority rights will not improve in Finland but get worse.

Listening to some of the arguments of MPs of these on Monday only reinforce my suspicions. With politicians like PS Chairperson Riikka Purra, it’s clear that minority rights will not improve in Finland but worsen.

One of the matters that is fueling our xenophobia at present is Russia and its unjust war against Ukraine. Since the world has changed due to the war in Ukraine, some politicians must reason that it is a good opportunity to trash human rights and not take it too seriously.