1. GENERAL INFORMATION - SITUATION ON TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS
Cases of human trafficking in Finland have concerned acts such as sexual and labour exploitation. New forms of human trafficking offences are emerging. Forced marriage or the exploitation of individuals in criminal activities are one form of human trafficking. Cases of work-related exploitation have been detected. While many victims of human trafficking have come from abroad, cases have also arisen in which the victims were Finnish citizens.
In Finland, as in many countries, the main challenge facing anti-trafficking efforts is identifying the victims of human trafficking. However, the Finnish authorities and third sector actors have managed to identify victims.
See more in Finnish
2. INSTITUTIONAL, LEGAL AND POLICY FRAMEWORK TO ADDRESS TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS
In Finland, human rights treaties are brought into force by a Parliament’s Act, and they apply and bind as regular law, e.g. the European Convention on Human Rights and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. The Constitution of Finland guarantees civil rights and liberties. Human trafficking is a serious crime according to Finnish Criminal Code (f.e. Trafficking in human beings, Aggravated trafficking in human beings). Assisting victims is regulated by law as well. The revised provisions in the Criminal Code on human trafficking as well as the legal amendments concerning assistance for victims of human trafficking entered into force on 2015. More and more case law has entered.
Finland ratified in April 2016 the new Protocol and a Recommendation with respect to ILO Convention No. 29 on Forced Labour, which dates back to 1930.
Combating trafficking in human beings contains co-operation between many Government's ministries and their administration. The Government co-operates actively with civil society and NGO's as well. The Government coordination structure of action against human trafficking involves not only the ministerial working group on internal security and the administration of justice and the meeting of permanent secretaries, but also the Secretariat Coordinating Government Action against Human Trafficking and the Government antitrafficking network. The representatives of all key ministries engaged in anti-trafficking efforts are members of the Secretariat Coordinating Government Action against Human Trafficking. Government Anti-trafficking Coordinator began his activities at the Ministry of the Interior in 2014. The term of this new, fixed-term position will end on 31 May 2017.
Similarly to the Government Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, the Secretariat was appointed for a fixed period until 31 May 2017. Consideration of the further development and organisation of coordination tasks will be based on the experiences currently being collected on such activities.
The Government has appointed the Ombudsman for Minorities (currently Non-Discrimination Ombudsman) as the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings since 2009. The Non-discrimination Ombudsman monitors and reports on human trafficking trends in Finland.
Finland participates in the European Union’s action against trafficking in human beings, which is based on the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting the victims.
Victims of human trafficking are by law entitled to assistance and protection irrespective of their residence status in Finland. The functions of the Assistance System are regulated by the Act on the Reception of Persons Applying for International Protection (The Reception Act 746/2011). In Finland, victims of human trafficking can receive assistance from the national assistance system for victims of trafficking coordinated by the Joutseno reception Centre.
The Joutseno reception Centre is responsible for the administration of the system for victim assistance. It is able to help men, women, children, families, and groups of people. This includes residential arrangements, social and health care services, legal advice and assistance, security arrangements and other support measures required by the victim. The Assistance System works in cooperation with national and municipal authorities as well as with NGOs on a daily basis.
Municipalities are responsible for organising support to those victims who are their official residents. Victims with a municipality of residence in Finland can receive the necessary basic services from their home municipality. Trafficking victims’ municipalities of residence can apply for reimbursement for the extraordinary costs of organising support. Even in this case, the national assistance system for victims of trafficking can advise and guide the victim. Different actors including authorities and NGO's refer the victims of human trafficking into national assistance system.
The Finnish Police prevents and investigates Trafficking in Human beings crimes, and forward investigated cases to prosecutor for proceed against perpetrators. The Finnish Border Guard is competent to investigate human trafficking cases when there is a connection to organizing illegal immigration.
Several prevention measures are in action (see more the National Action Plan)
3. NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
Government Action Plan against Human Trafficking 2016–2017 was published on 2016. Ministry of Interior of Finland coordinated preparing of action plan with wide cooperation with several Ministries. Plan is paying special attention to identifying and assisting the victims of human trafficking. The Action Plan includes nine measures concerning different anti-trafficking areas. These measures are divided into 24 concrete actions. Every action includes references to the responsible stakeholders.
Where applicable, needs arising from the latest developments in human trafficking were taken into account in the planning and focus areas of the measures included in this Action Plan. For example, the measure listed second in this Plan — which involves enhancing the efficiency of work aimed at reaching out to the victims of human trafficking, and identifying and assisting them — plays a key role with respect to asylum seekers who are already in Finland.
Please find the link for further information of Finnish national action plan (especially documenting Finland’s national referral mechanism).
4. CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION TO ADDRESS TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS
Finland actively participates and contributes to the definition of international recommendations and practices. Finland also actively participates in the European Union’s actions against trafficking in human beings. The Government Action Plan against Human Trafficking 2016–2017 includes measure 7 that targets on the development of international anti-trafficking cooperation.
Finland has taken part in other actions and projects by the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the Nordic Council’s as well as by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Close cooperation with national anti-trafficking actors in Nigeria is an example of cooperation with countries of origin.
The Finnish Police co-operate with authorities from different countries both in individual crime cases and regarding larger crime networks.
5. RELEVANT REPORTS
Guideline for social and health care professionals on identification of victims of human trafficking and their guidance to the services was published in January 2018. Please find the link to the website (in Finnish).
The prime minister office published 16th March 2018 a report with recommendations “An unknown future: A report on the effectiveness of legislation concerning assistance for victims of human trafficking”. Please find the link to the website (only in Finnish; the Abstract in English)
National Action Plan on Fundamental and Human Rights 2017–2019 is national action plan on promoting fundamental and human rights in Finland. Please find the link to the website
Guidebook for prevention of work-related human trafficking will be published 23rd April 2018. (not available yet)
6. RELEVANT LINKS TO NATIONAL AUTHORITIES / INSTITUTIONS WEBSITES AND OTHER RELEVANT CONTACTS
Ihmiskauppa.fi is national assistance system for victims of trafficking. Ihmiskauppa.fi provides possible victims of trafficking safety and support, a place to live, food and drink, help from a doctor other help and advice. Website is being developed as part of the EU funded IHME-project for the victims of human trafficking. Please find the link to the website.
The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman is the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and as such is one of Finland’s foremost experts in human trafficking. The Rapporteur monitors action against human trafficking in Finland, human trafficking at large, compliance with international obligations and the effectiveness of national legislation. The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman submits a report on human trafficking and the related phenomena to the Government each year and to Parliament at four-year intervals. Please find the link to the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman's website
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health provides further information about Prevention of human trafficking in Finland. Please find the link to the website
Police of Finland website provides further information of law enforcement of trafficking human beings in Finland. Please find the link to the website
Victim Support Finland, funded by Government.
Pro-tukipiste is a specialist service that promotes participation and human rights of people who work in sex or erotic industry and of those who are victims of trafficking.
IOM is the inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.