Practice Related to Rule 95. Forced Labour
In 2003, in its fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Finland stated:
Forced labour is also considered to amount to such an interference with the integrity of person that it is prohibited under the general provision in section 7 of the Constitution. According to section 127 of the Constitution, Finnish citizens are under an obligation to contribute to national defence. This obligation is provided for by an act of Parliament.
a) The obligation to contribute to national defence may be satisfied by performing either military or non-military service under the Military Service Act, work, or civil service referred to in the Civil Service Act. Under section 35 of the Military Service Act (amended on 21 April 1995), a person convicted or accused of treason or high treason may be ordered to perform work serving the interests of national defence, instead of regular military service or reserve obligations. A conscript refusing to perform the obligations relating to military service may also be ordered to such work (section 36 of the Military Service Act).
b) The provisions of the Emergency Powers Act … concerning the use of force in emergency situations, were amended in 2000. A person residing in Finland, who is at least 17 but less than 65 years old, may be ordered to perform work which is required by the necessity of the situation in accordance with the purpose of the Act, and which the said person may be expected to perform in view of his strength and capacity. When such an order is given, the person’s age, family relations and health as well as other personal circumstances shall be taken into account. A compensation corresponding to the remuneration required by existing collective agreements shall be paid for the work.
Finland’s Criminal Code (1889), as amended in 2008, provides that any person who “forces a prisoner of war or another protected person to serve in the military forces of the enemy or participate in military action against their own country” shall be “sentenced for a war crime
to imprisonment for at least one year or for life”.
(emphasis in original)