On May 9, 2006, Finland was elected to the Council based on its freely
given commitment to propose to its parliament, during 2006, legislation to
remove all obstacles to Finlands ratification of the ILO Convention No.
169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries,
dealing with the unresolved rights of the Sámi over land, resources and
far, Finland has not fulfilled its commitment to the UN, and, thus, is
treading on Sámi human rights. A proposal of legislation, prepared
by ministries in June 2006, has not been acted upon. In September, this
year, the member of the Finnish Government has publicly announced that the
government is not going to submit the Draft Government Bill to the
Sámi are the only indigenous people in the EU. Their rights as an
indigenous people are recognized in Finlands constitution, but their
rights to land, resources and livelihood have not been realized, because
the relevant legislation is lacking.
Minister of Finland has publicly stated that the unresolved issue of
rights to land and livelihood in Sápmi is Finlands most difficult human
Finland, over more than fifty years, there have been six (6) proposals for
legislation to resolve the question of Sámi rights to land and livelihood.
However, nothing has happened, because Finnish governments never passed
any of those proposals to the parliament for action.
today, Sámi rights have not yet been realized, and the Sámi’s position on
so-called state lands continues to be hampered at all times by pressure
from other economic endeavours. In Sápmi, the constitutional Sámi
home region, 90 % of the area is so-called state lands and the remainder
is in private ownership.
to international experts, the situation of the reindeer herding Sámi in
Finland fulfills three of the criteria for cultural genocide spelled out
in the Draft UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples presented
to the UN General Assembly.
the States ownership rights are not clear; in 2004, the Parliamentary
Constitutional Committee viewed the States ownership right to those lands
previously under Sámi ownership as "questionable".
Sámiráđđi/ Saamelaisneuvosto/ Saami Council
Suoma sámiid guovddášsearvi ry. /SSG / Finland’s Sámi Central
Aikio, SSG +358-400-282202
Pauliina Feodoroff, Sámi Council