Ombudsman for Equality

The Ombudsman for Equality is an independent authority whose main duty is to supervise compliance with the Act on Equality between Women and Men. The Ombudsman has powers on matters related to gender and gender minorities. The powers of the Ombudsman consist of both combating discrimination and promoting equality. The Ombudsman carries out her tasks primarily by providing guidance and advice.

The Ombudsman for Equality is located under the administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice.

Legislation

Equality and equal treatment is regulated under Finnish national legislation, European Community law and international agreements binding on Finland. The Constitution contains a prohibition of discrimination and an obligation to promote gender equality. The Equality Act contains regulations on promoting gender equality and prohibiting gender-based discrimination, as well as the consequences of violating these regulations.

Discrimination is forbidden under employment law, which also includes a general obligation of equal treatment of the staff. The Criminal Code prohibits discrimination at work and in business.

The Non-Discrimination Act contains regulations on promoting equal opportunities and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.