UNYF’s statement regarding Finland in the Human Rights Council


Finland has done an admirable job of focusing on the rights of women and girls in its human rights work. However, youth as a whole and youth rights have not seemingly been given the same level of attention e.g. in Finland’s Human Rights Council-related strategy documents. The youth perspective must be represented in all aspects of the implementation of human rights work so that Finland can pursue a truly proactive and forward-looking foreign policy.

As an EU Member State, Finland bears part of the responsibility for ensuring that human rights are respected within the EU. Notably, human rights violations are constantly occurring on the Union’s southern border with refugee drownings commonplace. In addition, refugee camps that flagrantly violate human rights continue to be run by the EU’s partner states in the neighbourhood. EU aid and funding play a major role in maintaining this unsustainable situation. Finland must actively demand that the human rights of refugees be protected. Finland must also be prepared to examine the EU’s asylum policy openly and critically, including within the Human Rights Council.

In today’s world, access to technology is an essential means of giving young people opportunities. Today, we see that in Russia and Iran, for example, social media is an essential source of information and communication for young people when freedom of expression is restricted. Finland, as a pioneer of the technology sector, can promote digitalisation in human rights work and improve technology-related human rights issues around the world. We ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs to provide more information on what forms of digital human rights work Finland is promoting, especially concerning youth.

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