Stopped – Pysäytetyt

Ethnic profiling research project 

About the project
Project staff


The website is in English, but Finnish translations can be found on the top menu.

Etusivu on englanniksi. Suomenkieliset sivut löytyvät valikosta sivun ylälaidasta.

Have you been stopped by the police in a public space?


Have the Finnish police stopped you in a public space? Do you suspect it happened because of your ethnicity or skin colour?

We wish to interview people of all ages, especially those living in the Helsinki metropolitan region or Turku region, who have been stopped by the police in a public space and, for example, asked for identity papers. They may have stopped you in the street, at a train station, at a sports event or when driving a car. We are also interested in cases of people stopped by customs and border control officials or private security guards.

If you know or suspect that the reason for being stopped was your ethnicity, skin colour, appearance or the language you speak, we would like to hear about your experience.


We are interested in your experiences


We will use your interview anonymously in the University of Helsinki’s Stopped research and journalism project, the first study into ethnic profiling within the Finnish police force. Interviews can be conducted in Finnish or English, or in other languages with the help of an interpreter approved by you. The project is conducted by a group of researchers, journalists and photographers.

The interview will be conducted and analysed by qualified researchers, with the anonymity of interviewees preserved. Additionally, with your agreement, your anonymous interview can be presented to the project’s journalists to help them provide first hand testimonies for news articles, as well as within a multimedia project they are developing about ethnic profiling.

We can also provide some help in filing a complaint about discriminatory profiling.
If you do not want to be interviewed, you can also send us an anonymous statement about your experience.


What can you do if you have been stopped?


Ethnic profiling is a form of discrimination. Discrimination is forbidden by Finnish law and international conventions. Ethnic profiling is also forbidden during immigration controls in Finland: according to the law, your ethnicity cannot be the only or main reason for being stopped during these control processes.

If you suspect that your appearance, your skin colour or ethnicity is the only or main reason for being stopped by the police, you should file a complaint. It is important that officials receive information about discriminatory ethnic profiling.

It is unfortunately complicated to complain about ethnic profiling, as there are multiple complaint mechanisms. You should seek to understand how different complaint mechanisms work, and choose one with which to lodge a complaint. In all cases, a complaint must be resolved before another complaint mechanism can be approached to resolve the same incident.

You can also contact researcher Markus Himanen from the Stopped project at markus.himanen(at) who can help you with the complaints process.

How to make a complaint: five options


There are five different official mechanisms that you can use to complain about ethnic profiling.

You can only use one complaint mechanism at once.

Please read more


What is ethnic profiling?


Police ethnic profiling can mean that a police officer uses their police powers on an individual primarily or only due to that person’s skin colour, ethnic origin, religion or language. It can be prevalent within cases of stopping and asking for identity papers or detention.

Continue reading “What is ethnic profiling?”

Contact Us

Contact us

If you are interested in sharing your experiences of ethnic profiling, please fill out this form, and we will get in contact with you.
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If you don't want to be interviewed, please describe your experience below. Tell us about your experiences of being stopped by the police (or other officials) and why you suspect it was because of your appearance (please mention how many times it has happened, where, what the situation was like each time, what you were asked, how you responded, what was the outcome of the situation, how it made you feel. Please give as much detail as possible).
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