Human Rights, Criminalisation of Migrants and Racism Debates: Public Discussions About Police Stops and Ethnic Profiling in Finland

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Large-scale public discussions about ethnic and racial profiling started in Finland in 2008, although the history of the phenomenon is clearly longer. In particular, the Roma minority has suffered from extensive police control throughout the post-independence era. While police controls of the Roma have raised public concern, most debates concerning police stops have focused on identity checks conducted as part of internal immigration controls. This chapter analyses the different phases in the public discussions, their framing and central actors, as well as the legislative effects of the debates. We identify three phases: (1) the emergence of the public discussions on ethnic profiling, (2) the legal reform in 2013-2015, and (3) the intensification of the public debates after the legal reform. In the first and second phases, the main actors are the Minority Ombudsman, other authorities and ECRI. In the third phase, the representatives of the police are challenged by non-discrimination authorities, journalists, civil society organisations, researchers and individuals reporting ethnic profiling. The public debates have also shifted from ethnic and racial profiling to cover racism in the police more broadly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Politicization of Police Stops in Europe : Public Issues and Police Reform
EditorsJacques de Maillard, Kristof Verfaillie, Mike Rowe
Number of pages24
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-35124-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-35125-9
Publication statusPublished - 2024
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NamePalgrave’s Critical Policing Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2730-535X
ISSN (Electronic)2730-5368

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • police stops
  • racial profiling
  • ethnic profiling
  • public debates
  • human rights
  • crimmigration
  • racism
  • policing

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