STATEMENT: The impact in Finland of populism on human rights and the rule of law

STATEMENT 7.3.2020




In recent days we have seen through the tragic events in Greece how the human rights of asylum seekers mean little. Such people, who have in many cases, fled war, are being used as political pawns by countries such as Turkey.

One matter is the far-right and Islamophobic Finns Party (PS) demanding that we pull out of international agreements that protect refugees and ditch human rights, another cause for concern is the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) willing to follow in the steps of the far-right party.

Kokoomus parliamentary group leader Kai Mykkänen stated after Greece decided to suspend asylum applications for a month that Finland should pass legislation to do the same.

“Finland must be prepared, if necessary, if we were exposed to pressure from a large number of [asylum] applications coming towards Finland,” he was quoted as saying in Yle and added that the country should be able to do what Greece did under exceptional circumstances.

The suggestion by Mykkänen is odd. Is there a threat to Finland from Russia? The answer is clear: Mykkänen is more interested in opinion polls than in the plight of refugees.

Ditching human rights even momentarily is the first step in restricting other civil rights that are supposed to be inalienable.

Kokoomus’ shameful suggestion reveals that human rights and democracy are expendable and can be shelved at will.

Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September 2018 and registered as an NGO the following month. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.