Finland emphasises indigenous peoples’ rights, vulnerable people, and accountability in Human Rights Council this autumn

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will hold its 51th regular session from 12 September to 7 October. This is the third session during Finland’s three-year membership in the Human Rights Council. Finland will continue its long-standing commitment to the promotion of universal human rights.

 The Human Rights Council is the UN’s most important intergovernmental body protecting and promoting human rights. As a member of the Council, Finland strongly supports the independent work of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk and of his Office and the independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council who monitor different human rights situations and report on them to the Council. Finland supports the participation of civil society actors and human rights defenders in the Council’s work and cooperates with them. During Finland’s membership, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, under the lead of Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto, has consulted civil society actors before each session of the Council.

Human Rights Council to discuss rights of indigenous peoples and vulnerable people

At the autumn regular session of the Human Rights Council, Claudia Mahler, serving as Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, will present her report and recommendations on the situation in Finland. Finland appreciates the expert’s assessment and will be active in the dialogue on the report. Finland will attend a side event on the rights of older persons, organised by the Finnish Human Rights Centre.

The autumn general session focuses on the rights of indigenous peoples, which is an important theme for Finland. Finland will be actively involved in the negotiations and discussions on these rights. Finland supports the participation of representative institutions of indigenous peoples in the work of the Human Rights Council. Currently, representatives of indigenous peoples may not attend Council meetings independently or take the floor on matters concerning them.

Finland will organise a side event to the general session to raise awareness of the position of intersex persons. 

The Council agenda includes a number of other important matters, such as the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, safety of journalists, action against racism, involuntary disappearances, arbitrary detention, and reprisals against human rights defenders.

The Council will receive an overview of the global human rights situation. The session will discuss the state of human rights in a number of countries. The Council will hold an interactive dialogue on the situation of the human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. It will also receive the first oral update from an Independent

International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine reporting on the human rights situation in Ukraine following the Russian aggression. Finland strongly support the Commission of Inquiry and its important work to ensure accountability for violations of human rights.  Finland will participate in these dialogues.


Ann-Mari Fröberg, Team Leader, Unit for Human Rights Policy, tel. +358 295 350 896

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