Combating trafficking in human beings
Trafficking in human beings is a criminal activity in which people are recruited, transported or received for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation can be in the form of prostitution or other sexual abuse or forced labour. Trafficking in human beings may also involve trafficking in human organs.
Finland is a country of transit and destination for victims of trafficking in human beings brought from other countries. However, there are also Finnish victims of trafficking in human beings.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health helps to combat the social problems arising from trafficking in human beings and provides assistance for the victims.
The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the entry of people into Finland, for residence permits and for the operations of the reception centres. Reception centres are responsible for assisting the victims of trafficking in human beings.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy is responsible for the integration of immigrants and the measures associated with it.
The provisions on assisting victims of trafficking in human beings are contained in the following acts:
The Ombudsman for Minorities monitors the human trafficking situation in Finland and reports on it.
In this area, the focus of the social and health policy strategy and the Government Programme is on
- developing legislation so that trafficking in human beings can be prevented and its victims can be assisted and their legal rights improved
- strengthening the role of non-governmental organisations, the Ombudsman for Minorities and occupational safety and health authorities in the identification and combating of trafficking in human beings.
Support for victims of trafficking in human beings
The victims of trafficking in human beings are entitled to assistance and protection. They are provided with social and health care services, support for housing and legal assistance. The assistance for victims of trafficking in human beings is coordinated by reception centres as follows:
- Joutseno Reception Centre (adult victims) and
- Oulu Reception Centre (underage victims).
Action against trafficking in human beings
In 2008, the Government adopted a resolution for a revised national plan of action against trafficking in human beings. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the plan.
The Government adopted the first plan of action against trafficking in human beings in 2005.
International conventions and their implementation provide the basis for combating trafficking in human beings. In 2006, Finland adopted the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Finnish Treaty Series 70-71/2006).
In 2006, Finland also signed the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and has appointed a working group to examine the measures required by the ratification of the convention.