Anti-racist protesters demonstrate in central Helsinki in 2016 [File: Attila Cser/Reuters]
Racist and abusive language is “commonplace” online in Finland and on the rise in political discourse, a report by the Council of Europe has warned
Although the Nordic nation frequently tops international comparisons regarding happiness, gender equality and quality of life, its population has the lowest share of foreign-born residents in western Europe, at 6.6 percent, and anti-immigrant sentiment is widespread.
The hardline Finns Party, which campaigns on a platform of staunch opposition to asylum, has been the second-largest party in the past two general elections.
“Racist and intolerant hate speech in public discourse is escalating; the main targets are asylum-seekers and Muslims,” the council’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) said