March 2022 marks the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Finnish Human Rights Centre (HRC), which is connected to the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The beginning of the Human Rights Centre’s activities was an important milestone for fundamental and human rights at the national level as it also meant the birth of the Finnish National Human Rights Institution (NHRI). The Institution plays an important role in the monitoring, promoting, and protecting fundamental and human rights and in international human rights and rule of law cooperation.
Defending fundamental and human rights and the rule of law is more important than ever, as their value is undermined in different ways.
Finland's National Human Rights Institution consists of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, the Human Rights Centre and its Human Rights Delegation. Together, their broad powers and tasks regarding fundamental and human rights cover the criteria and tasks the UN has set for National Human Rights Institutions (the so-called Paris Principles). National Human Rights Institutions are independent and autonomous statutory state organs.
The statutory task of the Human Rights Centre is to monitor and promote the implementation of fundamental and human rights and to promote the cooperation and exchange of information of various actors. The HRC participates actively in international and European cooperation on human rights and the rule of law. In the 3-year period beginning at the end of March, the Director of the Human Rights Centre Sirpa Rautio will act as the Chair of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) and as a Board Member of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
The Human Rights Delegation, whose members represent diverse expertise in fundamental and human rights in different fields of society, is an important cooperative body of the Human Rights Centre. The Delegation deals with human rights issues of far-reaching significance and principal importance, promotes the exchange of information and issues statements.
As a supreme overseer of legality, the Parliamentary Ombudsman supervises the legality of actions of all authorities and private entities performing public tasks and ensures that they fulfil their obligations. The Ombudsman examines complaints, carries out inspections and takes initiatives of his or her own. As the National Preventive Mechanism, the Ombudsman oversees the rights and treatment of all persons deprived of their liberty. In the performance of his or her duties, the Ombudsman monitors the implementation of fundamental and human rights.
The Parliamentary Ombudsman, the Human Rights Centre and the Human Rights Delegation together have a statutory special task of protecting and promoting the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Close cooperation is also carried out especially in issues dealing with the rights of older people.
The ten years of operation of the Human Rights Centre and the Finnish National Human Rights Institution will be celebrated in different ways during 2022. Information about events and activities will be communicated separately.
Government proposal on the establishment of the Finnish Human Rights Centre (in Finnish):
More on Finland’s National Human Rights Institution:
The Paris Principles (in Finnish):
Further information: Sirpa Rautio, Director, Human Rights Centre, email@example.com, +358 50 574 1137