WhatsApp Logo Subscribe
For News Alert

News

Finland violating indigenous Sami rights: report

By AFP

May 20, 2024 08:25 PM


Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

The conditions for a reconciliation between the Finnish state and the indigenous Sami people have deteriorated over the past decade as the state continues to violate Sami rights, a report concluded Monday.

In 2021, a Sami Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in Finland to investigate historical injustices against the Sami, with the aim of preventing their reoccurence.

"In the Supreme Administrative Court, Sami rights have been given a cold shoulder in many respects," Martin Scheinin, a human rights professor who compiled the report, told a press conference, adding that the regression had occurred over the past decade.

The report was commissioned by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Some 10,000 indigenous Sami live in Finland, speaking three different Sami languages.

The Finnish constitution has since 1995 recognised the Sami as an indigenous people with a right to maintain and develop their culture.

The Sami territory, Sapmi, stretches over the northern parts of Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway. In total, there are between 80,000 and 100,000 Sami.

"Although Finland is still recognised in the UN as a supporter of indigenous rights, positive developments for the Sami people in Finland seem to have stalled or become less consistent", the report said.

The Finnish state continues to repeatedly violate the Sami people's right to self-determination, which is at the core of indigenous people's rights, it noted.

Scheinin highlighted that the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court has since 2011 rejected the Sami parliament's view on who qualifies as eligible to stand and vote in Sami parliamentary elections.

Finland's legal definition of who can be included in the Sami electoral roll has been deemed outdated by human rights experts because it does not correspond with the Sami parliament's own view of eligibility, which emphasises a person's connection to one of the Sami languages as the most important criteria.

International human rights bodies have also accused Finland's Supreme Administrative Court for violating international conventions due to its rulings concerning the electoral roll, contrary to the Sami parliament's will.

Additionally, in cases concerning the Sami people's traditional livelihoods such as fishing and reindeer herding and plans for new industrial projects in Sapmi, the court had "rejected the Sami view and often even failed to investigate complaints", Scheinin said.

The report said "a better general understanding of and compliance with rapid developments in international indigenous people's rights" was necessary for a reconciliation between the Finnish state and the Sami.


AFP


Most Read

  1. Woman kidnaps anti-feminist Khalilur Rehman Qamar, FIR registered Woman kidnaps anti-feminist Khalilur Rehman Qamar, FIR registered
  2. Powerful political mafia is out to sabotage Azm-e-Istehkam operation, says ISPR DG Powerful political mafia is out to sabotage Azm-e-Istehkam operation, says ISPR DG
  3. Fans can’t stop laughing after Salman Khan’s 'terrible' stare at Kim Fans can’t stop laughing after Salman Khan’s 'terrible' stare at Kim
  4. Roads flooded, power supply suspended as heavy rain lashes Punjab, AJK cities Roads flooded, power supply suspended as heavy rain lashes Punjab, AJK cities
  5. Lahore police bust honeytrap gang in Khalilur Rehman Qamar abduction case Lahore police bust honeytrap gang in Khalilur Rehman Qamar abduction case
  6. Islamabad police arrest PTI leader Raoof Hasan, deny taking Gohar into custody Islamabad police arrest PTI leader Raoof Hasan, deny taking Gohar into custody