Ombudsman's role in matters concerning foreign nationals

The tasks of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman include promoting the position and rights of foreign nationals. The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman also plays a special role under the Aliens Act in complementing the legal protection of foreign nationals and monitoring the safeguarding of their rights.

The Ombudsman has the right to be heard in matters pertaining to asylum seekers or deportation of foreign nationals on a case-by-case basis. The Ombudsman also has the right to access a wide range of information concerning foreign nationals. The Ombudsman has access to the register of foreign nationals (register of aliens) and the right to be informed about all decisions taken by the Finnish Immigration Service and administrative courts under the Aliens Act.

Issues concerning the status and rights of foreign nationals are present in many ways in the Ombudsman’s work

One of the tasks of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman is to promote the rights and position of foreign nationals, but the rights of foreign nationals are also an important part of the Ombudsman’s work in many other ways.

Foreign nationals may, for example on account of their nationality, language or ethnic origin, experience discrimination and by considering such cases the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman can also address equality and non-discrimination issues in general.

As the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, the Ombudsman also monitors human trafficking phenomena. Most of the victims of human trafficking identified in Finland are foreign nationals, and for this reason, the action against human trafficking also involves issues of alien legislation. 

The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman also monitors the enforcement of the removal of foreign nationals from the country to ensure that the process is in accordance with the law and fundamental and human rights.