The objective of the Board is promoting an equal and diverse society developed in interaction with various stakeholders.
In spring 2005, as a result of a presentation by the Ministry of Labour, the Council of State appointed the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations for its third term of 2005-2008
The purpose of the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations is to develop interaction between the authorities, non-governmental organisations and political parties represented in the Parliament, and immigrant and ethnic minorities at a national, regional and local level.
The Board assists the Ministries as an expert of immigration policy in developing an ethnically equal and diverse society
The tasks of the Board include:
· promoting good ethnic relations and ethnic equality, as well as a multifaceted interaction and co-operation between various actors in the different sectors of immigration policy;
· acting as an expert body in developing the different sub-sectors of immigration policy;
· participating in promoting organisational activities among immigrants;
· disseminating information about immigration policy, the objective of ethnic equality and ethnic diversity as a resource for the society, and increasing awareness of these issues.
The Board performs its tasks e.g. by arranging training and other events, issuing statements and filing initiatives and proposals. Additionally, the Board arranges in co-operation with the Regional Boards for Ethnic Relations a Forum of Ethnic Relations, which convenes at least once every year. The goals of this Forum include integrating national and regional level activities and increasing the visibility of the immigration policy and ethnic equality in the Finnish society.
Mrs Meri-Sisko Eskola, Secretary General, meri-sisko.eskola[at]mol.fi, tel. +358 10 60 48021
Mr Oskar Aho, Secretary, oskar.aho[at]mol.fi, tel. +358 10 60 48024
The Ministry of
The Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations
PO Box 34, FIN 00023 Government
”The purpose of the Advisory Board is to develop interaction between authorities, non-governmental organisations and parties represented in Parliament and immigrants and ethnic minorities at the national, regional and local level. As an expert in immigration policy, the Advisory Board shall assist the ministries in the development of society towards ethnic equality and diversity.” – Section 1 of the Decree on the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations
In practice, this means that the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations: (1) promotes the relations between minorities and the majority population as well as between different minority groups by creating positive interaction; (2) acts as an advisory body to state administration by providing statements on issues under preparation; (3) promotes NGO activities of ethnic minorities by e.g. organising seminars in issues including the founding of an umbrella organisation; (4) publicises the importance of immigration policies and minority issues through media events and other communications.
The Decree contains a provision on a preparatory organ of the Advisory Board, or the Working Division. The Board selected the Working Division among its members. The Working Division prepares matters to be discussed at the meetings and, between the meetings, is responsible for opinions and tasks for which it is not possible to call a meeting of the whole Board. The Working Division can also represent the Board for Ethnic Relationships. The Chairperson of the Working Division is Mrs Meri-Sisko Eskola as the civil servant representative of the Ministry of Labour and the Chairperson is Ms Reet Nurmi from the Multicultural Women's Association in Finland Monika as a representative of immigrants.