The Ombudsman for Equality is an independent authority whose main duty is to supervise compliance with the Act on Equality between Women and Men. The Ombudsman has powers on matters related to gender, gender identity and gender expression. The powers of the Ombudsman consist of both combating discrimination and promoting equality. The Ombudsman carries out her tasks primarily by providing guidance and advice.
The Ombudsman for Equality and the Office of the Ombudsman were established on January 1st, 1987, by the Act on the Ombudsman for Equality and the Equality Board. The Act on Equality between Women and Men came into force at the same time.
In 2001 the administration of equality issues was reorganised in Finland and the personnel of the Ombudsman’s Office was divided between two units, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Gender Equality Unit, which is a unit of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Until January 1, 2015, the Ombudsman was administratively located within the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
The Act on Equality between Men and Women has been amended several times and the amendments have brought up new duties to the Ombudsman. Since the amendment of the Act in 2005 the Act has been interpreted to cover also discrimination faced by gender minorities.
The Ombudsman for Equality is fully independent while performing her legislative duties. Since January 1, 2015, the Ombudsman has been administratively located under the administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice.
Predominantly tribunal-type (quasi-judicial) body
|Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )|
|Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)|
|Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)|
|Recommendations on discrimination issues|
|Publications and reports|
|Research projects (including surveys)|
|Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)||795||801||658||780||685||644|
|Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)||169||182||172||211||369|
|Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media||35||32||35||340||349||137|
The Ombudsman is fully independent and impartial authority while performing her legislative duties but is administratively located under the administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice.
The staff of the Office of the Ombudsman for Equality is appointed by the Ombudsman for Equality. The Ombudsman is appointed by the Council of State.
|Grounds / Fields||Employment||Education||Housing||Social Protection & Healthcare||Goods and Services||Other|
|Race and Ethnic Origin|
|Religion & Belief|