The starting point in the National Policy on Roma is that the present legislation and service system should create a good foundation for promoting the equal treatment of the Roma population. Furthermore, special measures are needed at all levels of authorities to reach the goal of inclusion and de facto equal treatment of the Roma. A principle in the policy is also to reinforce the Roma population’s active involvement and functional capacity by making use of their own strengths.

The role of the local authorities in promoting equal treatment is emphasised, since in practice equal treatment and inclusion are realised in everyday life and at the local level. The Policy on Roma includes a proposal for adding to the state budget a particular grant for municipalities that they could use for developing the practices referred to in the Policy to promote the equal treatment of and to complement the basic services for the Roma population.

Strengthening the participation of Roma in education and raising their level of education in general are primary objectives in the Policy on Roma. The Romani language is a language under threat, even though the right of the Roma to maintaining their language and culture is safeguarded under the Finnish Constitution. Maintaining the Romani language, among other things by developing its instruction and research at university level, constitutes a prerequisite for implementation of the cultural rights of the Roma.

The Finnish national policy on Roma puts forward 10 policy guidelines.  The guidelines comprise 147 specific measures in total, aimed at the promotion of inclusion and equal treatment of Roma in different areas of life. The policy guidelines aim at:

  • increasing the participation and equal treatment of Roma children in early childhood education;
  • increasing the participation and equal treatment of Roma children and youth in basic and secondary education;
  • improving the participation of Roma in vocational education;
  • improving and promoting the access of Roma to the labour market;
  • promoting the wellbeing of Roma and improving their access to social and health services;
  • ensuring the equal treatment and reducing the sense of insecurity of Roma in housing;
  • promoting the development of the Romani language and culture;
  • promoting the equal treatment and preventing discrimination of Roma;
  • developing the administration of national Roma affairs and improving policy measures in relation to Roma and the implementation of these policies; and
  • promoting the participation of Finland at international level on Roma issues.