Finland

Finland regularly reports hate crime data to ODIHR. Finland's hate crime laws consist of a general penalty enhancement provision. Reported police data include discrimination and defamation offences, which fall outside the OSCE definition of hate crime, although these can be disaggregated. Data on the numbers of prosecutions and sentenced cases are only reported for discrimination cases. Hate crime data are collected by the Police University College of Finland's Research Department, the Interior Ministry, the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Justice and Statistics Finland. Finland conducts regular victimization surveys to measure unreported hate crime.

SELECT YEAR

Official Data

Year Hate crimes recorded by police Prosecuted Sentenced About these data
2019 900 22 17
2018 880 55 21
2017 1497 63 37
2016 1311 N/A N/A
2015 1704 Not available Not available

Hate crimes recorded by police

A total of 1,237 hate crimes were originally reported to ODIHR. The number of individual crime reports was 899, as one crime report can include several hate crimes. This number included cases of ethnic agitation, defamation and discrimination, which were removed and are not presented here. With the consent of the Roma community, hate crime against Roma people has been included as a category separate from Racism and Xenophobia.

National developments

November 2019 marked the end of a two-year project "Against Hate", funded by European Commission Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme and co-ordinated by the Ministry of Justice. Project activities were focused on developing hate crime reporting and strengthening the capacities of  police, prosecutors and judges to handle cases of hate crime and hate speech, as well as on improving support for hate crime victims. The project included training activities, including five regional training events for police officers, prosecutors and judges in May 2019. A hate crime manual for prosecutors and judges was developed, and a shadow report on reported hate crime cases was published in March 2019. In November 2019, the project released three episodes of a podcast dealing with hate crime. The project also saw the publication in March 2019 of a shadow report on victims' experiences of hate crimes, aimed at including their perspectives in discussions on the issue (https://www.riku.fi/binary/file/-/id/79/fid/2142). Unlike the report on hate crimes by the Police University College, this report drew on qualitative rather than statistical data, and focused on the experiences and needs of victims. This type of data gathering will continue in the "Facts against Hate", launched in December 2019 and co-ordinated by Ministry of Justice.

Key observation

ODIHR observes that Finland has met most OSCE commitments on hate crime data collection and reporting.