Promoting the status and rights of foreign nationals
The work of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman to safeguard the status and rights of foreign nationals in Finland includes general measures to ensure that foreign nationals can fully enjoy their rights but also dealing with individual contacts.
As part of these tasks, the Ombudsman commissions and prepares reports and issues statements. The Ombudsman’s objective is to promote the rights of the most vulnerable foreign nationals, such as asylum seekers and undocumented migrants.
The Ombudsman aims to identify inadequacies in legislation and in its application
The aim of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman is to identify inadequacies in legislation and in the way in which the laws are applied. In this work, the Ombudsman cooperates closely with civil society actors and can rely on extensive rights and on a broad right of access to information.
For example, the Ombudsman has, in cooperation with the University of Turku and the Åbo Akademi University, carried out a study on Finnish Immigration Service decisions concerning international protection and produced a report on how the Aliens Act is applied to reunification of families of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers.
The Ombudsman also promotes the position and rights of foreign nationals by issuing opinions and statements. The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman has issued statements on such matters as the processing of cases involving asylum seekers and opinions on such matters as the right of refugees to family reunification. The Ombudsman also contributes to public debate by analysing issues in for example blogs and the social media.
The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman seeks to change structures
In the manner described above, the focus of the Ombudsman’s work is on promoting the rights of foreign nationals on a structural basis. The Ombudsman uses its right to be heard in individual matters on a case-by-case basis. The Ombudsman has submitted statements to courts in matters of general nature that are important as matters of principle.
The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman also gives advice on matters pertaining to foreign nationals on a case-by-case basis but does not assist such individuals as asylum seekers.