The Parliamentary Working Group on Human Rights invited Professor Jussi P. Laine from the Karelian Institute, UEF, among other experts, to the discussion on the impacts of the planned construction of a fence along the eastern border of Finland.
The aim of the discussion was to address the concerns associated with this project. The fence is intended as a measure to prevent undocumented migration and to prepare for hybrid warfare situations. However, such a project requires a thorough and conscientious assessment of costs and benefits. Experts have raised concerns about the impact of the fence and the legal reforms on human rights. Also, the effectiveness of border fences has been put into question against the high cost required to construct and maintain them.
Professor Jussi P. Laine is an expert in multidisciplinary border studies. Since the plan to construct the fence was announced earlier this year, he has repeatedly criticized it in domestic and international media. While Professor Laine notes that barriers make border management easier, he also argues that fences cause new problems that outweigh benefits. Instead of improving security sustainably, fences are a result of short-term politics, fuelling a sense of fear, populism and corporate interests. Professor Laine sees his participation in the hearing as a start of a discussion on the actual benefits and risks associated with border fences.
The discussion took place on 16 December 2022. Other participants were the Group’s Chair Veronika Honkasalo, a representative of the Ministry of the Interior Anne Ihanus as well as three representatives of the Finnish Border Guard.
For further information, please contact:
Professor Jussi Laine, https://uefconnect.uef.fi/en/person/jussi.laine/