Discrimination and grounds for discrimination

The prohibition of discrimination covers discrimination related to sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability or sexual orientation, and in some cases to age.

In the Discrimination Act  discrimination has the meaning set out in this Section.

1. Direct discrimination: that someone is disadvantaged by being treated less favourably than someone else is treated, has been treated or would have been treated in a comparable situation, if this disadvantaging is associated with sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.

2. Indirect discrimination: that someone is disadvantaged by the application of a provision, a criterion or a procedure that appears neutral but that may put people of a certain sex, a certain transgender identity or expression, a certain ethnicity, a certain religion or other belief, a certain disability, a certain sexual orientation or a certain age at a particular disadvantage, unless the provision, criterion or procedure has a legitimate purpose and the means that are used are appropriate and necessary to achieve that purpose.

3. Harassment: conduct that violates a person’s dignity and that is associated with one of the grounds of discrimination sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.

4. Sexual harassment: conduct of a sexual nature that violates someone’s dignity.

5. Instructions to discriminate: orders or instructions to discriminate against someone in a manner referred to in points 1–4 that are given to someone who is in a subordinate or dependent position relative to the person who gives the orders or instructions or to someone who has committed herself or himself to performing an assignment for that person.

Sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and age

Section 5 Protected grounds of discrimination

1. Sex:
The term sex means that someone is male or female. The prohibition of discrimination on the ground of also includes persons who have undergone, or who are planning to undergo sex reassignement..

2. Transgender identity or expression:
Transgender identity or expression describes persons who do not define themselves as a woman or a man, or express by their manner of dressing or in some other way that they belong to another sex. The term includes both a person's mental or self-perceived gender image and how a person expresses what may be called their social gender through, for example, clothing, body language, make-up or hair style.

The Discrimination Act's prohibition of discrimination applies to persons with a transgender identity or expression. DO often instead uses the concepts of gender identity or gender expression.

3. Ethnicity:
The term ethnicity refers to an individual's national or ethnic origin, skin colour or other similar characteristic. National origin means that people have the same national affinity, such as Finns, Poles or Swedes. Ethnic origin means that people have a relatively uniform culture. As an example may be mentioned that a person belongs to one of the national minorities such as Sami and Roma.

4. Religion or other belief
Religion refers to religious beliefs, such as Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity or Islam. Other beliefs include convictions which are based on or connected to a religious belief, such as Buddhism, atheism and agnosticism.

Political convictions and ethical or philosophical values that are not related to religion are not covered by the Discrimination Act

Religion refers to religious beliefs, such as Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity or Islam. Other beliefs include convictions which are based on or connected to a religious belief, such as Buddhism, atheism and agnosticism.

Political convictions and ethical or philosophical values that are not related to religion are not covered by the Discrimination Act.

5. Disability:
The term disability refer to lasting physical, mental, or intellectual limitations of a person's functional capacity that as a consequence of injury or illness existed at birth, as arisen since or can be expected to arise. Temporary limitations of a person's functional capacity are not a disability in the sense referred to in the Discrimination Act.

Disability entails a reduction of a person's physical, mental or intellectual capacity. This is therefore something that a person has, not something that a person is. A disability may be more or less apparent in different situations, such as allergies, dyslexia, hearing impairment, visual impairment and so on.

6. Sexual orientation:
The law defines sexual orientation as homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual orientation.

7. Age:
Age means the length of life reached. All people, regardless of age, are protected by the Discrimination Act.

Source: Discrimination Act, Protected grounds of discrimination

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