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We all have a role to play in making the Finnish music industry safe for all!
The purpose of this guidance is to offer clear advice to members on how to tackle harassment and inappropriate behaviour at your local level. The guidance applies to all work settings within the music industry and to all individuals and organisations participating in them.
A “work setting” can be a gig, concert, rehearsal, recording session, songwriting residential, music video shoot, promotional event or work-related trip. “Individuals and organisations” include performers, musicians, audience members, producers, record companies, orchestras, event organisers and promoters.
What are harassment, discrimination and inappropriate behaviour?
Harassment is a form of discrimination as set out in the Non-discrimination Act and the Act on Equality between Women and Men. Harassment and discrimination can also occur in situations where the victim does not recognise themselves as such. It is important to ensure that those who experience harassment and discrimination have the opportunity to be heard and for their experience to be validated.
Harassment and discrimination take many forms. Victims should not be expected to name the form of harassment and discrimination they have faced. Our perception of harassment is always a personal and subjective one. It is for the victim to determine whether they have experienced harassment.
Not all unwanted behaviour constitutes harassment. The perpetrator’s motivation or the witnesses’ perceptions of the incident do not determine the nature of the events that have occurred. If appropriate, legal action should be pursued to ensure that the matter is dealt with through the justice system.
Below, we have listed some examples of harassment, discrimination and inappropriate behaviour:
Verbal, non-verbal or physical harassment or other inappropriate conduct that is liable to cause harm or pose a risk to the victim’s health.
Any behaviour intended to create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive atmosphere.
Unwanted sexually-motivated behaviour that encroaches on another person’s mental or physical autonomy and their right to sexual self-determination.
Any unwanted behaviour that is not of a sexual nature but is directed at a person’s sex, gender identity or gender expression and perpetrated with the purpose or effect of violating another person’s dignity or physical autonomy.
Any unwanted comments relating to a person’s age, appearance or skin colour.
In 2018, the Finnish Musicians’ Union conducted a survey of our members’ experiences of sexual harassment.
A survey on equality in the Finnish music industry was run in early 2022. The survey was commissioned by the Finnish Musicians’ Union, Gramex, IFPI Finland, Finnish Jazz Federation, Finnish Music Publishers Association, Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras, Society of Finnish Composers and Teosto Music Copyright Association.
- Seksuaalinen häirintä – tutkimusraportti 2018 (pdf) (report available in Finnish only)
- Kysely: Moni kokee epäasiallista käytöstä Suomen musiikkialalla (available in Finnish only)
Harassment, discrimination and inappropriate behaviour are against the law
In Finland, harassment and inappropriate behaviour are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Act on Equality between Women and Men (sexual harassment and sex and gender-based harassment), the Non-Discrimination Act (discrimination and harassment) and the Criminal Code (sexual harassment).
Occupational Safety and Health Act
The objectives of this Act are to improve the working environment and working conditions in order to ensure and maintain the employees’ ability to work as well as to prevent occupational accidents and diseases and eliminate other risks from work and the working environment to the physical and mental health, hereinafter health, of employees.
Act on Equality between Women and Men
The objectives of this Act are to prevent discrimination based on sex, to promote equality between women and men, and thus to improve the status of women, particularly in working life. Furthermore, it is the objective of this Act to prevent discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.
The purpose of this Act is to promote equality and prevent discrimination as well as to enhance the protection provided by law to those who have been discriminated against.
Finnish law applies to an offence committed in Finland.
Stopping harassment, discrimination and inappropriate behaviour
The Finnish music industry does not condone harassment or discriminate in any form. We have a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of harassment, discrimination and inappropriate behaviour.
What to do if you encounter harassment
- Confront the perpetrator and tell them that you object to their actions. Alternatively, speak to the victim and ask what form of support they need.
- Approach the relevant contact person within your organisation and tell them what has happened.
- Contact the authorities.
What to do if you are subjected to harassment
- Confront the perpetrator and tell them that you object to their actions
- Seek help and support from other people present
- Remove yourself from the situation.
- Approach the relevant contact person within your organisation and tell them what has happened
- If the relevant contact person is unavailable, or they are the person committing the harassment, you can report the incident to another person within your organisation
If you have committed harassment or engaged in inappropriate behaviour
- Apologise for your behaviour and accept that it was unwanted even if it was not intended that way.
- Learn from the event and engage actively with any investigation that may follow.
- You can also approach the relevant contact person within your organisation to address what has happened.
Harassment or inappropriate behaviour is reported within your organisation, at an event you have organised or similar
- Take action to ensure that the matter is addressed appropriately and that the harassment is stopped.
You can also contact the police or your own membership organisation for help and support:
- Ombudsman for Equal Treatment
Finnish music industry organisations
Finnish Musicians’ Union
Anna Dantchev, yhteisökoordinaattori
Finnish Music Creators
Lumi Ollila, koordinaattori
Katariina Sorsa, vientipäällikkö
Finnish Live Entertainment Agency Association (SOA)
Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras
Finnish Music Publishers Association
Society of Finnish Composers
Teosto Music Copyright Association
Finnish National Opera and Ballet
Existing practices and policies
Some excellent practices and policies already exist within the Finnish music industry
- Olavi Uusivirta’s contract with Universal encompasses an anti-harassment clause
Ruisrock Festival’s values include equality
Ruisrock doesn’t tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind. In case you witness or encounter inappropriate behavior, please contact any of the security or other festival staff.
- Everyone is treated equally regardless of e.g. skin color, age, gender, or sexual orientation.
- Physical integrity is respected.
- Everyone looks after each other.
- Let’s enjoy a happy festival together where everyone feels comfortable!
Read more: https://ruisrock.fi/en/info/values/equality/
- Music Finland’s guidance on safety and equality
Promotion Centre for Finnish Folk Music and Folk Dance (KEK)
https://kansanmusiikkikansantanssi.fi/turvallisempi-tila/ (in Finnish only)
- Finnish Music Creators – creating safer spaces
Uniarts Helsinki’s Equality and Diversity Plan
Uniarts Helsinki’s Equality and Diversity Plan describes the central principles, goals and measures that guide our equality and diversity work in 2021-2024.
Music Finland’s declaration for equality, non-discrimination and diversity
The bases for the theses for promoting equality and diversity in the music sector were created during Music & Media event on October 5, 2017. A working group consisting of music industry professionals has written the theses into their final form.
The theses aim to advance the shared, equal future of the music industry in Finland. We invite all music professionals to sign and share the theses.
The Finnish National Opera and Ballet: Workplace Conduct
The Finnish National Opera and Ballet’s ‘Workplace Conduct’ offers a guide for preventing and addressing inappropriate treatment.
Get involved – let’s make this a safe industry for all
We hope that you will adopt this guidance and apply it in your own work.
You too can make a difference by organising training for the equality and inclusion officer within your organisation, by highlighting these issues through your communications and by raising them with your professional contacts and networks by and initiating discussions within your community of any relevant issues that come to your attention.
For further information, please contact:
Anna DantchevCommunity Coordinator, Finnish Musicians’ Union