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Finland’s National Action Plan on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities raised awareness of the rights of people with disabilities

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
24.5.2019 12.14 | Published in English on 27.5.2019 at 15.43
News item

The first National Action Plan (2018-2019) on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities increased awareness of the rights of people with disabilities in Finland. The Action Plan was used to implement the UN Convention, which has been in force in Finland since summer 2016.

The plan defined 82 measures that were implemented in different administrative branches. Based on initial results, about one half of all the measures were put into effect fully and the other half were carried out partly. After the reform on regional government, social and health care services fell through, several legislative initiatives lapsed, which in turn had an effect on implementation of many measures. 

More attention on accessibility and availability of services

The action plan highlighted the issue of participation of people with disabilities in a changing environment. Accessibility and availability of services are preconditions for implementing all the other rights, and they must be taken into consideration in the work of all administrative branches. 

“Promoting availability and accessibility is a continuous effort, where we have now got off into a good start. These issues are now better recognised than before,” says Eveliina Pöyhönen, who chairs the Advisory Board for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (VANE).

Despite its short duration, the Action Plan also succeeded in developing practices to help disabled people to participate in drafting legislative proposals. 

In addition, the Action Plan strengthened the knowledge base on persons with disabilities and promoted their equal rights and non-discrimination in the activities of ministries.   

Preparation of new Action Plan to start in autumn 2019

The National Action Plan was drawn up by VANE, which serves as Finland’s coordination mechanism for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. VANE includes representatives of disability organisations, labour market organisations and the ministries that are most relevant for the rights of persons with disabilities. VANE’s term ended in April. 

A new advisory board for 2019-2023 will be appointed in early autumn. The board will begin preparations for the next Action Plan. 

The new Action Plan will build on the first one and look further into the future. A wide array of groups will also collaborate in preparing the new Action Plan.


Tea Hoffrén, Secretary General, tel. +358 2951 63220

Leea Rautanen-Muhli, Coordinator, tel.  +358 2951 63667

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