promoting equality in public administration case finland

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Panu Artemjeff, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Interior, Legal Affairs Unit in Providus conference on Diversity management, June 8, 2011.


  • 1. Promoting equality in public administration: Case Finland Panu Artemjeff,Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Interior, Legal Affairs Unit

2. Background

  • Finland has ratified themain international agreements relevant for fighting discrimination
  • EU legislation that prohibits discrimination andEU Framework Strategyfor Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunities for All
  • Finnish Constitution, Non-Discrimination Actand Gender Equality Act
  • European programmes to counter-act discrimination
  • National programs to counter-act discrimination (disability policy plan, national Roma policy, human rights policy program etc.)

3. Who is responsible for the equality and non-discrimination policies in Finland?

  • Special authorities: Omdusman for Minorities, Ombudsman for Gender Equality, Chancellor of Justice
  • Ministries in their fields
  • Local and Regional Authorities
  • NGOs
  • Joint projects with public authorities and NGOs
  • Advisory boards (Roma, Sami, Minority etc.)
  • Same Parliament

4. Equality Team

  • Part of the Legal Affairs unit of Ministry of Interior
  • Main tasks:
  • 1) Coordinates governmental equality policies
  • 2) Develops and facilitates equality duties especially equality planning and equality impact assessment
  • 3) Implements national discrimination monitoring (action plan 2010-2013)
  • 4) Coordinates national awareness raising activities to tackle discrimination (EU Progress -programme)

5. Equality planning

  • Under the Non-Discrimination Act (21/2004), the authorities have a duty to foster equality purposefully and methodically in all they functions, and alter any circumstances that prevent the realization of equality
  • The equality team gives recommendations, guidance and training on equality planning
  • A guidebook on public sector equality planning was published 2010
  • A guidebook on equality planning in NGO will be published 2011 and guidebook for educational institutions 2012
  • Equality team has organized 30 training workshops around the country during 2008-2010. (including police, boarder guards, social and welfare personnel, defense forces, labour administration, education sector etc.)
  • A study on quantity and quality of equality plans in 2009. Approx. 50% of authorities have a plan that meets the requirements

6. Aims of the planning

  • Improve equality in all functions of an public organization
  • Developing following areas:
  • 1) Skills to identify and tackle discrimination
  • 2) Capacity to assess the impact of equality in functions, activities and practices
  • 3) Implementation of positive action measures to promote equality
  • 4) Promoting participation of minority groups

7. The scope of the planning

  • Law requires only one ground, ethnic origin. Ministry of Interior recommends that all grounds are taking into account.
  • Both equality in workplace (internal) and equality in services (external) are treated in a single plan.
  • Equality workshops deal also with following themes:
  • 1) Human rights requirements
  • 2) Equality and good governance
  • 3) Participatory democracy
  • 4) Diversity management
  • 5) Group specific issues

8. 9. Equality plan: key factors

  • Emphases on the process not on the document
  • A comprehensive equality impact analyses
  • Equality mainstreaming: finding relevance and linkage to the core functions of organization
  • Involvement of the key stakeholders (staff, management and groups at risk of discrimination)
  • Tools to measure equality (surveys, consultation and complaint mechanisms) and follow up progress
  • Transparency and visibility of the work

10. 11. Other measures to promote equality/ sector based activities

  • Ministry of Employment and Economy has launched a program to promote diversity management in business community.
  • - Publications on best practices onpositive action, reasonableaccommodation and minority recruitment
  • - Launching of the Diversity Charter in2012

12. Other measures to promote equality/ Equality portal

  • Website that collects legislation, best practices, guidance for the equality planning, studies, reports etc. related to diversity, equality and non-discrimination issues.

13. 14. Other measures to promote equality/ awareness raising campaigns

  • Discrimination free zone - campaign
  • Campaign challenges organizations to become discrimination free.
  • Organizations must fill in the declaration and they will get the discrimination free zone -signs by post.

15. 16. Thank you


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