THIS STORY WAS UPDATED
In the face of rising hate speech, racism and the lack of trans rights, the Council of Europe Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) called today on Finland to tackle such social issues.
ECRI added: “[t]o tackle growing racist and intolerant hate speech, better coordinate integration activities for immigrants and review the law requiring transgender people to be sterilized before they can have their new gender legally recognized.”
Finland’s hostile environment against migrants and minorities is a Mayday call to do something.
But how can anything effective be done if Finland’s second-largest political party in parliament, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, are spreading ethnic hatred and demanding to do away with hate speech laws?
How much harm and fuel to the fire of racism is spread when politicians like PS First Vice-President Riikka Purra near-constantly attacks people of color by labeling them “human scum.”
Adding to the problem are mainstream parties like the National Coalition Party and Center Party that give mixed messages on accepting the PS as a future partner in government.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that one of the big problems in Finland is enforcement of hate speech laws. For some, the police are seen as part of the problem.
Even so, ECRI said that “it welcomes the adoption of a new anti-discrimination law and the prohibition of ethnic profiling, as well as measures taken to combat hate speech, including the setting-up of Hate Speech Investigation Teams in every Police Department.”
Some 900 Finnish police officers have received training on preventing and combating hate crimes.
* The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.