Finnish Youth Council presents recommendations ahead of Finland’s Human Rights review
On 5 April the Finnish Youth Co-operation Allianssi presented a series of recommendations focusing on youth, ahead of Finland’s upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR is a process of the United Nations Human Rights Council that takes place every five years for each Member State, and whereby all other Member States can put forward recommendations.
Allianssi addressed diplomats in Geneva during a ‘Pre-session’ event organised by UPR Info, an organisation that supports civil society involvement in the UPR. Recommendations focused on violence against women, trans rights and hate speech, building upon a report submitted by Allianssi in partnership with the European Youth Forum.
Among others, the recommendations call on Finland to:
- Increase funding to implement measures combatting violence against women; such violence is most prevalent among young women aged 18-29;
- Amend the Trans Act by abolishing the need for sterilisation, medical treatment and mental health diagnosis as pre-requisites for legal gender recognition;
- Develop and implement training on LGBTI rights for all professionals that work with young people, such as educators and health professionals in particular;
- Conduct research and collect data on discrimination, hate speech and bullying concerning youth aged 15-29.
While the UPR is a promising process, greater attention to youth and youth rights is necessary in order to deliver tangible results and to improve the lives of young people. The need to mainstream youth rights through the UPR was also underlined in a recent UN report.
With support from the European Youth Forum, Allianssi is the first National Youth Council to speak during a UPR Pre-session. The Youth Forum is committed to continue supporting youth organisations, and its members in particular, to engage with the UPR.
We encourage Member States to take the recommendations put forward by Allianssi and the European Youth Forum on board and to submit them to Finland during its review in Geneva on 3 May.
Allianssi’s International Committee member, Niklas Vaalgamaa, addresses diplomats in Geneva.