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Other legislation relating to the promotion of integration

The Administrative Procedure Act defines the principles of good administration

The purpose of the Administrative Procedure Act is to implement and promote good governance and legal protection in administrative matters. The act also aims at improving the quality and success of administrative services. The activities of authorities must be impartial and proportional to the object.

The Administrative Procedure Act contains provisions on the principles of good administration and the administrative procedure observed in administrative matters. The Administrative Procedure Act is a general act and it applies unless otherwise provided elsewhere by law. The administrative procedures concerning immigrant integration also comply with the Administrative Procedure Act as far as the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration does not contain special provisions on the matter.

Nationality Act lays down provisions on the requirements for citizenship

The Nationality Act lays down provisions on the requirements for acquiring, retaining or losing Finnish citizenship. It also determines the procedure for processing such matters. According to the Nationality Act, the integration, societal solidarity and participation of immigrants can be supported by granting them citizenship.

The Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration does not apply to Finnish citizens.

The Child Welfare Act ensures a safe environment for a child

The objective of the Child Welfare Act is to protect children’s rights to a safe environment, to a balanced and well-rounded development and to special protection.

The Child Welfare Act defines all child welfare measures in Finland. This means that the activities and decisions of child welfare authorities are always based on law. The Child Welfare Act concerns all children in the country, regardless of the reason why they are in Finland.

In Finland, the municipalities organise child welfare services, which are overseen by social workers.

The Constitution of Finland contains provisions on the rights of the child, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights implemented in Finland and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in particular. They highlight the importance of considering the child’s benefit in all authoritative activities.  

A child’s rights cannot be ensured by the Child Welfare Act alone: the task of their implementation is part of other legislation, other authorities and the wider society.

The Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration refers to child welfare legislation in relation to determining a child’s benefit, as well as group homes and other housing units.

The Language Act provides a right to be served in Finnish, Swedish or your native tongue when needed

The purpose of the Language Act is to ensure the constitutional right of every person to use either Finnish or Swedish before courts and other authorities.

The goal is to ensure the right of everyone to a fair trial and good administration irrespective of language and to secure the linguistic rights of an individual person without them needing to, specifically, refer to these rights.

An authority may offer better linguistic services than required by law. Under certain conditions, immigrants also have the right to receive services in their native language or a language which they understand in the manner required by the process.

The right to use other languages than Finnish, Swedish or Sámi when interacting with authorities is determined under legislation concerning trials, administrative procedures and the use of the Administrative Procedure Act, education legislation, healthcare and social welfare legislation, as well as legislation concerning different branches of administration.

An authority must organise free-of-charge interpretation services when the customer has a legal right to use their language that is different from the authority’s language or the matter’s processing language. The authority can also take care of the interpretation themselves. 

An authority’s document to be disclosed to a foreign country or person, or to be used outside Finland, can be issued in another language than Finnish or Swedish, unless otherwise provided for by law.

Additional information:
Administrative Procedure Act
Nationality Act
Child Welfare Act
The Constitution of Finland 
The European Convention on Human Rights
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Language Act