Members’ section
Personal identifiers

FINLAND: Ombudsman for Equality

General Contact Information

Full name in English:

Ombudsman for Equality

Full name in the national language(s):

Tasa-arvovaltuutettu (in Finnish); Jämställdhetsombudsmannen (in Swedish)

Postal address:
PO Box 33, FI-00023 Government, FINLAND
Website:

www.tasa-arvo.fi

General email address:
tasa-arvo@oikeus.fi
Helpline:

+358 295 666 842

Telephone number:

+358 295 666 830

Twitter:

www.twitter.com/tasaarvo_news

Other social media channels:

www.facebook.com/tasaarvovaltuutettu; YouTube (Ombudsman for Equality, Finland); Instagram

Languages in which your institution can be contacted:

Finnish, Swedish, English

Person of contact for media enquiries:

Päivi Ojanperä

Name of the Head of the equality body:

Ombudsman Pirkko Mäkinen

Contact Person

Name:

Päivi Ojanperä

Email:
paivi.ojanpera@oikeus.fi

Main Informations

Overview

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, gender identity and gender expression. 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.

Brief history

The Ombudsman for Equality and the Office of the Ombudsman were established on January 1st, 1987, by the Act on the Ombudsman for Equality and the Equality Board. The Act on Equality between Women and Men came into force at the same time.
In 2001 the administration of equality issues was reorganised in Finland and the personnel of the Ombudsman’s Office was divided between two units, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Gender Equality Unit, which is a unit of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Until January 1, 2015, the Ombudsman was administratively located within the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
The Act on Equality between Men and Women has been amended several times and the amendments have brought up new duties to the Ombudsman. Since the amendment of the Act in 2005 the Act has been interpreted to cover also discrimination faced by gender minorities.
The Ombudsman for Equality is fully independent while performing her legislative duties. Since January 1, 2015, the Ombudsman has been administratively located under the administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice.

Mandate type
  • Predominantly tribunal-type (quasi-judicial) body
Litigation powers
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) Not legally binding
Activities
201020112012201320142015
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups (e.g. through trainings)yesyesyesyesyesno
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)yesyesyesyesyesno
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)yesyesyesyesyesyes
Recommendations on discrimination issuesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Publications and reportsyesyesyesyesyesyes
Research projects (including surveys)noyesyesnonoyes
Our institution has a mandate to deal with:
  • Hate speech
Other statistics
201020112012201320142015
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)795801658780685644
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)169182172211no data369
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media353235340 349137
Management
  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)
Additional details

The Ombudsman is fully independent and impartial authority while performing her legislative duties but is administratively located under the administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice.

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The staff of the Office of the Ombudsman for Equality is appointed by the Ombudsman for Equality. The Ombudsman is appointed by the Council of State.

Number of staff dealing with equality issues
201020112012201320142015
111111111110.5
Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body
GroundsFieldsEmploymentEducationHousingSocial Protection & HealthcareGoods & ServicesOther
Genderyesyesyesyesyesall sectors of society except activities associated with the religious practices and relations in private life
Gender Identityyesyesyesyesyesall sectors of society except activities associated with the religious practices and relations in private life
Race and Ethnic Originnonononono
Agenonononono
Disabilitynonononono
Sexual Orientationnonononono
Religion & Beliefnonononono
Mandate covers:
  • Public sector
  • Private sector
Operating budget in euros
201020112012201320142015
no data13600011000012500014000011017000
We are accountable to:
  • National Parliament
  • National Ministry
  • Reporting annually to the Council of State; also reporting every fourth year to the Finnish Parliament

Related News

Equality in Europe and Finland

September 15th 2016

The Equinet Executive Board and Secretariat were invited to Helsinki on 7 September by our Finnish members, the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Equality, to meet with staff members and Finnish stakeholders to discuss the work of equality bodies and common challenges for equality in Europe.