Minister of the Interior Ohisalo met representatives of the Roma population
Roma people often experience discrimination in their daily lives. They have highlighted on various occasions the need to develop the activities of the authorities, especially those of the police. Representatives of the Roma population and Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo held a round table discussion on 16 January to talk about the safety and sense of security experienced by the Roma and how improve the situation, particularly by measures of the Ministry of the Interior and the police.
The lively discussion also covered topics such as discrimination and hate crimes experienced by the Roma people. Representatives of the Roma communities reported cases where Roma people had been treated inappropriately both by the police and guards. Discrimination is less likely to occur in places where those in the police who engage in preventive work are also involved in a local Roma working group.
"Thank you so much for the constructive discussion. Discrimination is strictly forbidden in the police and we take each case of discrimination very seriously. I would like to stress that all cases of inappropriate treatment should and ought to be reported so that we can identify and address the problems," says Minister of the Interior Ohisalo.
Finland’s Strategy on Preventive Police Work (2018) sets out that the police should carry out preventive work by networking with different population groups and by ensuring that they are given the opportunity to bring to light any shortcomings they have experienced in relation to safety and to developing a sense of security.
At the end of the discussion, it was agreed that efforts will be made to intensify cooperation between Roma communities and police officers engaged in preventive work and with teams such as the multiprofessional Ankkuri (Anchor) team. In addition, the Police University College teaching and learning material on multiculturalism will be revamped. The knowledge and skills of guards must also be strengthened in matters related to the Roma and other minorities.