The Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations: Taking a stand for sympathy and against racism

The secretariat of the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations has been contacted a number of times regarding hate speech and harassment directed towards Russian speakers living in Finland. The Advisory Board condemns all racism, hate speech and other harassment against people of Russian origin, Russian speakers and people from the former Soviet Union in Finland. Adults are responsible for ensuring that there is zero tolerance for intimidation and bullying against children and young people.

The Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations ETNO is a broad-based cooperation network operating in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice. Its main task is to promote good relations between population groups and equality of all people living in Finland.

On behalf of the Advisory Board, we would like to remind the public that Ukraine has been attacked by the Russian army by order of the Russian state leadership. It has not been attacked by the Russian people, and people of Russian origin living in Finland cannot be blamed for the situation in Ukraine. It is now important that we all support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people – both those who have stayed in their home country and those who have fled the war. Hate speech and harassment do not help anyone in this situation.

Focus your energy on the good

It is understandable that fears and uncertainty about the future can trigger strong emotions, prejudices and even hatred in any of us. However, we hope that people living in Finland can come together and channel this frustration and energy into helping those in distress.

The Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations promotes dialogue between people and population groups, and we want to emphasise that each of us has an opportunity to increase understanding between people. This can be done, for example, by engaging in constructive discussion or voluntary work, intervening in racist behaviour, or participating in the week against racism on week 12.

There are many ways to support Ukraine, including by making donations to address the humanitarian crisis.


Chair of the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations

Pekka Timonen

Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Justice

Vice-Chairs of the Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations

Natalie Gerbert

Director of Crisis Centre MONIKA – Multicultural Women's Association

Minna Hulkkonen

Director General

Ministry of the Interior

How to tackle racism

Follow the related news and guidelines of the University of Oulu at the War in Ukraine page.

Last updated: 16.3.2022