Thursday 28.05.2020

Finnish Government seeks to promote social inclusion of foreigners

A working group has been created to discuss how to use arts and culture to strengthen the social inclusion and participation of those with a foreign background.

The Minister of Science and Culture, Hanna Kosonen. Photo: Laura Kotila/Finnish Government.
The Minister of Science and Culture, Hanna Kosonen. Photo: Laura Kotila/Finnish Government.

Minister of Science and Culture Hanna Kosonen has appointed a working group to prepare proposals for policies to strengthen the inclusion of people with a foreign background into cultural life and to promote cultural diversity through arts and culture.

According to the Ministry of Education and Culture, the purpose of the working group is to focus on the challenge of cultural diversity in cultural policy from the perspective of immigration and its growth and the related multiculturalism. The working group will also discuss what opportunities people with a foreign background might have to engage in professional activities in the cultural industries and to participate in development and decision-making in the cultural sector.

The working group is expected to focus especially on using arts and culture to strengthen the social inclusion and participation of those with a foreign background, and to promote intercultural dialogue by means of arts and culture.

“Culture is an excellent way to integrate into Finland and to strengthen people's feeling of inclusion and significance. This can take place as a user, developer or creator of services, for example,” says Minister Hanna Kosonen.

A "tolerant and supportive country"

Sanna Marin's Government explained that one of the key objectives of its programme is to build a country that is equitable, tolerant and supportive towards all.

According to the information released, in the field of culture, the aim is to strengthen cultural dialogue, cooperation, inclusion and equality. The working group's work also relates to the implementation of the Cultural Policy Strategy 2025 of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

According to the Ministry of Education, in 2019, more than 400,000 people in Finland were of foreign origin, which is about 7.3% of the total population. Compared with the situation at the turn of the millennium, the number of people with a foreign background has tripled in Finland and, according to population projections, will further rise in the future.

The term of the working group ends on 31 December 2020.

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