The National Human Rights Institution of Finland
The Finnish National Human Rights Institution consists of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Centre and its Delegation.
The Human Rights Centre, and its Delegation, was established in connection with the Ombudsman's Office with the aim of creating a structure which, together with the Ombudsman, meets the requirements of the Paris Principles adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, as satisfactorily as possible.
This process, which started in the early 2000s, achieved its objective in 2014, when the Finnish Human Rights Institution was awarded an A status.
The Human Rights Institution awarded A status
National human rights institutions must apply to the UN International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC) for accreditation.
The accreditation status shows how well the institution in question meets the requirements under the Paris Principles. The accreditation status is reassessed every five years.
Finland's National Human Rights Institution submitted its application for accreditation to the International Coordinating Committee in June 2014.
The application was considered by the ICC's Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA), which, in October 2014, recommended awarding A status to the Finnish Institution.
The recommendation was endorsed as a final decision of the ICC on 29 December. A status was granted for the period 2014 - 2019.
The granting of an A status may be accompanied by remarks and suggestions on how to improve the institution. The recommendation among other things stressed the need to safeguard the resources necessary to ensure that the tasks of Finland's National Human Rights Institution were discharged effectively.
A status is significant
The A status not only has intrinsic and symbolic value but it also has legal relevance: a national institution with A status has the right to take the floor in the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.
A status is considered highly significant in the UN and, in more general terms, in international cooperation.
The Finnish Human Rights Institution has also joined the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI).
The Institution drew up it's strategy
In 2014 the Institution's first joint long-term operative strategy was drawn up.
It defined common objectives and specified the means by which the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Centre would individually endeavour to accomplish them.
The strategy successfully depicts how the various tasks of the functionally independent yet inter-related sections of the Institution are mutually supportive with the aim of achieving common objectives.
The strategy outlined the following main objectives for the Institution:
1. General awareness, understanding and knowledge of fundamental and human rights is increased and respect for these rights is strengthened.
2. Shortcomings in the implementation of the fundamental and human rights are recognised and addressed.
3. The implementation of fundamental and human rights is effectively guaranteed though national legislation and other norms as well as their application in practice.
4. International human rights conventions and instruments should be ratified or adopted promptly and implemented effectively.
5. Rule of law is implemented.