Harmful traditional practices
Migrants bring some ancient traditional practices to Finland. Some of these practices are harmful to children and prohibited in Finland and many other countries.
Female genital mutilation and circumcision
Female genital mutilation violates a child’s human rights and causes health problems. It is punishable in all forms as assault under Finnish law even if a girl is taken abroad for the procedure. This also applies to suturing after childbirth. Female genital mutilation can lead to a long prison sentence. If an authority suspects female genital mutilation, they are obliged to submit a child welfare notification.
Non-therapeutic circumcision of boys is not specifically prohibited by law but if done incorrectly, it can constitute an offence. The procedure can only be carried out by a licensed doctor in accordance with the guidelines.
Violence motivated by the notion of family honour exists throughout the world. It is usually a matter of protecting the honour of women and girls, but sometimes boys can also be victims. Honour-based violence can be controlling and restricting someone’s movements or their circle of friends. Violation of these rules may be punished by violence, and forced marriage may also be a threat.
If an authority finds that a child is being abused, the authority is obliged to submit a child welfare notification. Many acts committed in the name of honour are crimes and are reported to the police. Authorities work together with immigrant communities to prevent honour-based violence.