Finland slow to adopt disabled human rights convention

UNRatifying the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has for years been put off by Finland because of financial concerns and lack of political willingness, according to interest groups.

Local experts claim that there are ongoing breaches of the convention’s protocols in a number of institutional care facilities for disabled people across the country, reports YLE.

“Finland’s procrastination on the matter blemishes Finland’s role as an actor in the field of international human rights,” says project manager Terhi Alinen at Finland’s Centre for Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities, or VIKE. The treaty has already been ratified by some 70 other nations.

”People are tied down, isolated and locked in their rooms. We know of extreme cases, but there’s not much we can do. If Finland ratifies the convention, guidelines would become legally binding,” according to Abo Akademi researcher Jukka Kumpuvuori.

“The state is afraid that once the convention is ratified, Finns will file complaints with the international body governing the treaty,” said Kumpuvuori of the government’s hesitancy as they claim that the state does not have the sufficient financial capacity to fund the costs associated with the broader issue of disabled rights.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the UN’s instrument aimed at protecting the dignity and rights of people with disabilities and promotes full equality. It was adopted in 2006 by the UN General Assembly.

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