Equality and non-discrimination

Equality is a fundamental right, and guaranteeing equality plays a key role in the implementation of fundamental and human rights. Under the Constitution, everyone is equal before the law, and no one shall, without an acceptable reason, be treated differently from other persons on the grounds of sex, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, disability or other reason that concerns their person. 

The objective of the Non-Discrimination Act is to promote equality, prevent discrimination and enhance the protection provided by law to those who have been discriminated against.
The Ministry of Justice is responsible for drafting the legislation concerning equality and non-discrimination and for promoting equality.

The Equality.fi website maintained by the Ministry of Justice provides practical tools and materials for promoting equality.

Promoting equality

Under the Non-Discrimination Act, the duty to promote equality applies to: 

  • public authorities,
  • education providers,
  • providers of early childhood education and care and ECEC service providers, and
  • employers.

Equality planning is a concrete tool for promoting equality. In the planning work, an organisation assesses and develops its activities in a goal-oriented manner from the perspective of securing the realisation of equality.   

The Ministry of Justice has drawn up and further develops guidelines for equality planning and guidelines for the assessment of equality. In addition, the Ministry of Justice creates new methods, maintains a system for monitoring discrimination and coordinates national anti-discrimination communications campaigns. The Ministry of Justice also administers equality-related projects funded by the European Union.