Roma in Finland:
There are approximately 10,000 Roma who live in Finland (another about 3,000 Finnish Roma live in Sweden). Roma have lived in Finland for about 500 years, and there are no separate Romani communities or settlements, they live all-around Finland, and about 3,000 Roma in the metropolitan area of Helsinki. After Finland’s independence in 1917, Roma have been officially granted citizenship in 1919. The attempts of assimilation and/or extinction are defining the historical trajectory of the Roma in Finland before the 1960s social movement. The participation of Roma in Finland’s wars during 1939-1945 had a strong influence on shaping the sense of national identity of the Roma people.
The Finnish Roma (there is only one Roma group, Kalo) are recognised in the Constitution of Finland as a national minority. The reform of the constitutional rights in 1995 and the new Constitution of 2000 have improved the legal and formal status of Roma: their cultural and linguistic rights are legally recognised. Recently arrived mobile EU citizens of Roma origin from Eastern and Central Europe are not under and benefiting from, the current Roma Policy.
Since 2008 the mobile EU citizens of Roma origin from Eastern Europe, particularly from Romania and Bulgaria, have been moving to Finland, especially to the capital city, Helsinki. However, they do not have equal rights regarding public services and other rights guaranteed by citizenship. There is a non-governmental organisation working on migrant Roma-related issues, but the situation of migrant Roma is challenging.
Although there is a lack of research on racialisation or antigypsyism in Finland, it does not mean that they do not exist in Finnish society. The tendency and sentiments of downplaying discrimination and antigypsyism in authoritative discourse are noticeable also in the Roma policy; socioeconomic challenges of Roma are clearly expressed in the strategy texts but discriminatory and exclusionary practices in different social spheres as a cause are faded in the background.
Finland’s National Roma Policy (ROMPO) 2018-2022 (Publications of the Ministry of the Social Affairs and Health, 2019, in English)
RCM coalition member:
RCM2 (2021-2025) reports:
Roma Civil Monitor (2022) Civil society monitoring report: Lessons learnt from the National Roma Policy 2018-2022 and recommendations for the new national strategic framework for Roma equality, inclusion, and participation 2023-2030. ENGLISH – FINNISH
Poster presenting main findings of the report (2022):
RCM 1 (2017-2020) reports:
Roma Civil Monitor (2017) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategies in Finland: Focusing on structural and horizontal preconditions for successful implementation of the strategy. ENGLISH – FINNISH
Roma Civil Monitor (2018) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in Finland: Assessing the progress in four key policy areas of the strategy. ENGLISH – FINNISH