Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Pre-sessional working group
List of issues prior to submission of the seventh periodic report of Finland * *
1.The State party is requested to submit in writing the information requested below (21,200 words maximum) by 2 April 2020. The State party’s replies to the list of issues prior to reporting will constitute its seventh periodic report under article 16 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
A.Issues of particular relevance
2.Please provide information on the steps taken to establish a clear regulatory framework for companies and on the measures taken to ensure that companies operating in the State party or abroad exercise due diligence in human rights matters, and to prevent their activities from having a negative impact on the exercise of economic, social and cultural rights. Please also indicate the extent to which judicial remedies in the State party are available for the victims of violations committed by Finnish companies abroad, and provide specific examples.
3.Please provide information on the measures adopted to guarantee adequate protection of the right of the Sami indigenous people to own, use and freely dispose of their lands, territories and natural resources. Please also provide information on the circumstances in which the consultation processes held with a view to obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of the Sami indigenous people are conducted, with regard to the decision-making processes that may affect them, including those involving the granting of licences for development projects. Please also explain how social, environmental and human rights impact assessments are carried out before the granting of such licences. Please provide information on the specific measures adopted to mitigate the adverse effect of climate change on the enjoyment of the Sami indigenous people’s economic, social and cultural rights.
4.Please provide information on the results of the implementation of the Equal Pay Programme 2016–2019 and how this programme or other measures taken have contributed to the enforcement of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. Please also explain how the State party is addressing the challenges to reducing the inequalities between men and women in the labour market, particularly in order to overcome the significant occupational sex segregation and gender pay gap, as well as to increase women’s participation in full-time work. Please provide information on the measures adopted to prevent discrimination against women in the labour market on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or maternity leave, and indicate the number of such cases that have been investigated and sanctioned.
5.Please provide information on the methods and criteria used to ensure that social security benefits are set at a level that allows recipients and their families to enjoy an adequate standard of living. Please also indicate how the State party is ensuring that cuts to social security benefits do not disproportionately affect disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups.
6.Please indicate to what extent adequate mental health services, including community-based services, are available and accessible throughout the territory of the State party, including for asylum seekers and migrants. Please indicate to what extent the measures taken have contributed to reducing the suicide rate in the State party. Please provide information on the comprehensive reform of the Alcohol Act, which entered into force in March 2018, in particular explaining how it includes specific measures to prevent alcohol abuse, particularly among young persons.
B.Ongoing implementation of the Covenant
7.Please provide information on court cases in which the Covenant rights were invoked before, or applied by, domestic courts. Please also provide information, including statistical data, on remedies provided to victims whose rights protected under the Covenant were violated. Please provide information on how training programmes and awareness campaigns on the rights protected under the Covenant have contributed to ensuring the justiciability of those rights, and to raising awareness of the individual communications procedure under the Optional Protocol.
8.Please explain the extent to which the financial and human resources allocated to the Finnish National Human Rights Institution are adequate to enable it to effectively and independently carry out its mandate, particularly in relation to economic, social and cultural rights.
9.With regard to the threat represented by climate change to the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights across the world, please provide information on the progress made in meeting the national targets for reducing emissions that the State party has set itself under the Paris Agreement on climate change, and on the contributions that the State party proposes to make to the Green Climate Fund.
10.In order to assess whether the State party uses its available resources to the maximum to give effect to the Covenant rights, please provide information on the evolution, over the past five years, of:
(a)The proportion of people living below the poverty line, and of the level of inequality, preferably defined as the ratio of the total income of the richest decile of the population to the total income of the poorest 40 per cent of the population;
(b)The proportion of public revenue that is financed through taxes, and information on how the tax policies enable the mobilization of resources for the realization of economic, social and cultural rights;
(c)Public expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product, and the proportion of total public expenditure that is devoted to social spending (employment, social security, food, housing, water and sanitation, health, education and culture).
11.Please indicate the measures taken to meet the target of allocating 0.7 per cent of the State party’s gross national income for development assistance, and the expected timelines.
12.Please provide information on the implementation of the Anti-Discrimination Act and explain the specific functions and competences of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman and the National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal, indicating whether these bodies can deal with cases of discrimination based on any ground in relation to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights. Please also provide information on the number of administrative and judicial cases of discrimination in the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights that have been investigated, the decisions rendered and whether any compensation has been provided to the victims.
13.Please provide information on the implementation, results and evaluation of the National Policy on Roma and other measures adopted to combat discrimination against Roma, and/or other ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities, including Russian-speakers and Somalis, in the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, particularly in accessing employment, education and health care. Please also explain which measures the State party envisages adopting in order to overcome the remaining challenges in ensuring the full enjoyment of these rights for all without discrimination.
14.Please provide information on the implementation, results and evaluation of the Integration Act and its related programme (2016–2019) and on how these have contributed to the effective social integration of foreign nationals, including asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, particularly with regard to their access to work, education and health-care services, and to guarantee them an adequate standard of living.
15.Please provide information on the impact of the implementation of the Act on Equality between Women and Men and of the Government Plan for Gender Equality 2016–2019 on the prevention of gender-based discrimination and the promotion of gender equality in the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, particularly for women belonging to minorities, older women and women with disabilities.
16.Please provide information on the measures adopted to promote the equitable sharing of family responsibilities, and conditions favourable to a healthy work-life balance, and on the impact of such measures.
17.Please provide statistical information, disaggregated by age, sex, disability, and ethnic or national origin, on the employment situation in the State party. Please provide information on the implementation of the Young Guarantee scheme and its impact in combating youth unemployment, as well as on the progress made and remaining challenges faced in addressing the high long-term unemployment rate.
18.Please explain the extent to which measures adopted have promoted opportunities for productive and remunerated employment for persons with disabilities. Please also provide information on measures adopted to provide reasonable accommodation.
19.Please provide information on the specific measures taken to bring the working conditions of migrant workers, particularly seasonal workers, into conformity with the provisions of article 7 of the Covenant, and on the impact of such measures. Please also provide information on the number of complaints related to discriminatory practices that have been lodged, the investigations conducted and the sanctions imposed.
20.Please explain the impact of the measures adopted to prevent accidents and work-related diseases, and how the State party ensures that occupational health services, including compensation, are available for all workers. Please provide information on the resources allocated to the labour inspectorate and specify whether it has the mandate to monitor all aspects of the right to just and favourable conditions of work for all workers. Please provide information on measures adopted to ensure that the labour inspectorate focuses on monitoring the rights of workers and is not used for other purposes.
21.Please provide information on the child welfare services available and on the extent to which these services ensure full protection for families with children, particularly those belonging to minorities, including those from an immigrant background. Please provide information on the implementation of the legislation on foster care and of measures adopted to promote family and community-based care for children deprived of a family environment, and explain the mechanisms in place to monitor the rights of children in institutions or foster care.
22.Please provide information on the measures taken to guarantee targeted support to all those living in poverty, or at risk of poverty, in particular single-parent families, families with children, and young people.
23.Please explain to what extent the measures adopted have contributed to reducing homelessness, and provide information on the capacity of the reception facilities, including emergency shelters, hostels and social rehabilitation centres, that are available in the State party. Please provide information on how the measures adopted have contributed to ensuring the accessibility of affordable rental housing for disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups.
24.Please provide information on specific measures adopted to ensure that older persons have access to adequate care and treatment, as well as on training programmes available for doctors and health-care and social-care professionals about the rights of older persons.
25.Please provide updated information on the reform of health services and social services carried out by the State party, and on how such reform is envisaged to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of health-care goods and services for disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups, particularly Roma, and Sami indigenous people. Please explain what steps the State party is taking to ensure that asylum seekers and migrants, including irregular migrants, have access to all necessary health-care services.
26.Please report on the steps taken to overcome remaining challenges that prevent women and girls from disadvantaged and marginalized groups from accessing sexual and reproductive health facilities, services, goods and information. Please provide information on the measures adopted to provide women and girls with disabilities with support in the decision-making process with regard to their right to sexual and reproductive health.
27.Please provide information on the measures adopted to ensure that children from disadvantaged groups, particularly those belonging to minorities, child migrants, child asylum seekers and refugee children, have adequate access to preschool education. Please provide information on the specific steps taken to reduce school dropout rates and attainment gaps, to avoid de facto discrimination and segregation, and to combat bullying at school of children from an immigrant background and Roma children. Please describe the measures adopted to guarantee access to inclusive education for children with disabilities.
28.Please provide information on the implementation of measures adopted to guarantee access to education in Sami languages, particularly for children living outside the Sami Homeland. Please also report on the measures taken to increase the number of Sami-speaking teachers and to improve the availability of educational materials in Sami languages, and report on the implementation of, and the resources allocated to, the revival programme for such languages.
29.Please report on the measures taken to ensure that ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities living in the State party, as well as the Sami indigenous people, are able to preserve, develop, express and disseminate their identity, history, language, culture, traditions and customs. In particular, please explain the consideration that the State party is giving to introducing special protection for Sami reindeer husbandry.
30.Please provide information on the results of the implementation of the Open Science and Research Initiative 2014–2017 and how it has facilitated the enjoyment of the benefits of scientific progress and its applications in the State party.
31.Please provide information on good practices in policy formulation and implementation, developed by the State party during the reporting period, that have contributed effectively to the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, in particular for marginalized and disadvantaged individuals and groups. Please indicate how the Committee’s previous concluding observations (E/C.12/FIN/CO/6) have been taken into account in developing such practices.