Stadiums to declare themselves discrimination-free – tour starts in Lahti on 10 August
As part of the campaign Discrimination-Free Zone, planned and implemented by the Ministry of Justice together with various organisations, Finnish stadiums are now encouraged to declare themselves to be discrimination-free. The challenge campaign was launched by the Finnish Multicultural Sports Federation (Fimu), which is one of the organisations belonging to the campaign network.
“We wanted to challenge stadiums to participate in the work against discrimination. By declaring to be free from discrimination, a stadium sends a clear message that everyone irrespective of their ethnic background, age, functional capacity or sexual orientation is welcome to the stadium. Everyone has the right to enjoy and engage in sports in an encouraging atmosphere,” says Project Manager Ilari Äijälä from Fimu.
The first stadiums that have declared themselves discrimination-free are Veritas Stadium in Turku and Harju Stadium in Jyväskylä. They made the declaration in June.
During this autumn, the following stadiums will join the group of Discrimination-Free Stadiums:
- 10 August Lahti Stadium
- 7 September Central stadium in Rovaniemi
- 10 September Sauvonsaari Stadium in Kemi
- 12 September Telia 5G Areena in Helsinki
- 16 September Elisa Stadium in Vaasa
- 24 September Savon Sanomat Areena in Kuopio
“These stadiums challenge the audience and athletes to promote good sportsmanship and to intervene in negative jeering and name-calling. Sports have traditionally brought people with different backgrounds together, and this is something worth holding on to,” says Katriina Nousiainen, Coordinator of the Discrimination-Free Zone campaign from the Ministry of Justice.
The main patrons of the campaign are Aki Riihilahti and Ifeoma Kulmala. Furthermore, the campaign has several other patrons in different parts of Finland. The patrons challenge also other athletes and influential people in sports to take part in the campaign. The progress of the challenge campaign can be followed in social media under hashtag #syrjinnästävapaastadion (‘discrimination-free stadium’)[HA1] .
The campaign Discrimination-Free Zone is an information campaign to combat all forms of discrimination, bullying and harassment. It enables organisations and work communities to declare their commitment to the principle of non-discrimination. Declaring to be a discrimination-free zone means opposition to discrimination, addressing the problem if one exists, and recognising equality between human beings. As many as 1,000 organisations in different parts of Finland have already declared themselves discrimination-free zones.
The campaign is implemented by the Finnish League for Human Rights, the Finnish Youth Cooperation – Allianssi, Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland, the Finnish Multicultural Sports Federation (Fimu), and the Finnish Disability Forum in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice.
Ilari Äijälä, Project Manager, Finnish Multicultural Sports Federation Fimu ry, tel. +358 40 417 8776,
Special Adviser Panu Artemjeff, tel. +358 2951 50211, Ministry of Justice
Senior Officer Katriina Nousiainen, tel. +358 2951 50275, Ministry of Justice