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Cultural sector to draw up ethical guidelines itself

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 28.6.2021 15.34 | Published in English on 29.6.2021 at 8.26
Press release

The Ministry of Education and Culture commissioned Forum Artis ry to produce ethical guidelines for the cultural sector. The mandate relates to a study completed last year by rapporteur Jukka Liedes on the possible establishment of an ethical body for the cultural sector. Such a body will not be established.

During the consultation round on the report by Jukka Liedes, there was wide support for the proposal for preventive action, which was designed as one of the tasks for the ethical body. Based on the proposal, this would include formulating ethical principles and guidelines in the cultural sector, encouraging discussion on ethics, and issuing initiatives and opinions on ethical matters in the cultural sector.

Retrospective action, which was another proposed task for the body, was met with a controversial reception. Retrospective action would incorporate the handling and investigation of actions, practices or cases that are allegedly unethical. It would also include appeal and complaint procedures. According to the proposal, the ethical body would be located at the Arts Promotion Centre. The consultation round included dissenting opinions on the choice of location.

"It is important that the unethical activities that have taken place in the cultural sector, such as sexual harassment, have come to light in recent years and that there is a widespread desire to promote ethical practices in the sector. Forum Artis has the opportunity to work on formulating ethical guidelines through discussion with actors in the sector and by their commitment, so that the guidelines will be widely accepted by all actors in the sector," said Minister of Science and Culture Antti Kurvinen.

Based on the mandate issued by the Ministry to Forum Artis, Forum Artis must take into account existing ethical guidelines or similar practices in the various fields of culture and determine which areas of culture the new ethical guidelines would cover. When drafting the guidelines, the focus should be on issues that apply to the rights of employees or those in a comparable position to be treated in line with the purposes and regulations governing the regulation of working life.

The work on the ethical guidelines will begin in early autumn and should be completed by the end of May 2022. Once the ethical guidelines have been drafted, the Ministry of Education and Culture will assess whether other measures to promote ethical matters in the cultural sector are necessary. 

“Forum Artis is both grateful and keen to carry out the Ministry's mandate to draft ethical guidelines for the cultural sector. Forum Artis, which a national body for Finnish artists’ associations, already has strong links with many cultural actors. The collection and pooling of information contributes to the cohesion of the sector and also takes into account the different procedures and practices in use in our versatile arts and cultural sectors,” said Virpi Hämeen-Anttila, Chair of the Board of Forum Artis ry.


Riitta Kaivosoja, Director General, tel. +358 295 330 129, Ministry of Education and Culture

Esa Pirnes, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Cultural Affairs, tel. +358 295 330 259, Ministry of Education and Culture

Hanna Kosonen, Secretary General, +358 40 528 4876, Forum Artis ry

Antti Kurvinen Culture