Olemme tänään 17.3.2022 jättäneet valituksen YK Ihmisoikeusneuvostolle isien ja lasten syrjinnästä.
UN Human Rights Council Complaint
NGO: Lasten oikeudet ry (eng. Children’s rights)
Concerned country: Finland
Date: March 17, 2022
Fathers and childrens discrimination
In Finland law reform regarding child custody and meeting rights implemented December 1, 2019. First time in finnish history shared parenting has been mentioned in a law but unfortunately not as an primary resolution. European council in their resolution 2079 (2015) to all member states recommends shared parenting as an primary resolution and better recognization of fathers and their importance to children. Resolution was result of large research and data regarding shared parenting and its benefits for children.
Since 2018 when association Lasten oikeudet ry has been founded we have brought latest research to policy makers without result. Our experience is that inspite of latest law reform courts are still not willing to make orders which favors children’s and families well being in form of shared parenting and equal time with both parents.
Latest research based on the registry of the ministry of the justice conducted 2006 (Valkama-Litmala). Courts are favoring father as a primary care giver only 13% by first district court session.
Fathers in Finland are spending tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands euros just to protect child’s right to its both parents and right to live and be cared by both parents. Both fathers and childrens are compromising their mental health during this process. Based on Nordic survey (2022) which measure experience of gender discrimination in child matters expose dramatic results of fathers discrimination. Finnish fathers experience most discrimination in Nordic countries. We got 4500 answers and from Finland 800 answers. Results are shocking.
44% of fathers has experienced discrimination often, 43% of fathers has experienced mental violance often, 30% of fathers has experienced suicidal thoughts due discrimination and 37% of children has suffered significially or catastrophically due father’s discrimination.
In our own research when we selected randomly one judge from district court which seems to be against fathers we found that one judge during 2018-2020 hasn’t even once favored father as a primary care giver (50 court orders). Relatively common decision has been sole custody to mother and very limited meeting rights to father (typically every second weekend) which is clearly an evidence of fathers discrimination and human rights violation. We brought this evidence to head of district court and he replied us that we are just bitter because of loosing court case. Statistically its impossible that all 50 fathers are not good enough to be a primary care giver. We will continue researching more to get more evidences of fathers discrimination.
UN Committee Right of the Child has already a long time paid attention that in Finland authorities don’t know Child’s rights agreement well enough or make wrong conclusions. As well we have issues to hear and recognize child’s opinion accordingly. We have evidence that even in case of children between 8-12 years courts are not willing to recognize child’s opinion if its favors father.
Domestic child custody law emphasize child’s right to be cared well in a safe environment and parent’s are mandatory to make sure that child’s contact and relationship to other parent will not be compromised in any way and parents must cherish child’s relationship to other parent. This has been recognized as well in European council resolution 2079 (2015) which states.
“take all necessary steps to ensure that decisions relating to children’s residence and to access rights are fully enforced, particularly by following up complaints with respect to failure to hand over a child”
Our experience and data shows that in Finland in case of child deprivation from father authorities are neither not willing or able to enforce meeting right with a father. In practice authorities who are responsible to protect child against violence in forms of parental alienation often take side of the mother and make situation even worse. Many fathers has been eliminated from their child’s life permanently due parental alienation without any reason.
Association Lasten oikeudet has informed government of human right violations without any progress yet.
Finland and its government violates these human rights systematically
European Convention on Human rights
General prohibition of discrimination
- The enjoyment of any right set forth by law shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
- No one shall be discriminated against by any public authority on any ground such as those mentioned in paragraph 1.
Right to respect for private and family life
- Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. 2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Prohibition of discrimination The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
- States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members.
- In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
- States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures.
- States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.
States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.
- States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
- States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
- States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child’s place of residence.
- In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
- States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests.
- Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as the detention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request, provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences for the person(s) concerned.
- States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
- For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
- States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.
- For the purpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the present Convention, States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities and services for the care of children.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parents have the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
- Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.
- States Parties recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
- The parent(s) or others responsible for the child have the primary responsibility to secure, within their abilities and financial capacities, the conditions of living necessary for the child’s development.
- States Parties, in accordance with national conditions and within their means, shall take appropriate measures to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right and shall in case of need provide material assistance and support programmes, particularly with regard to nutrition, clothing and housing.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to secure the recovery of maintenance for the child from the parents or other persons having financial responsibility for the child, both within the State Party and from abroad. In particular, where the person having financial responsibility for the child lives in a State different from that of the child, States Parties shall promote the accession to international agreements or the conclusion of such agreements, as well as the making of other appropriate arrangements.
Lasten oikeudet ry
Chairman Petri Kolmonen