Finland officials have proposed to update the country’s law on s-xual offenses and include sending of unsolicited explicit photos unlawful, reports said.
Once passed, sending unsolicited lewd photos can imprison a person for up to six months, said the justice ministry spokesperson on Tuesday, per the Inquirer.
Furthermore, Finland’s proposed legislation would expand the definition of s-xual harassment.
The new definition would include verbal harassment, harassment through sending lewd images through messages, taking others photos, and “exposing oneself,” per a statement, said the Inquirer.
According to reports, current laws in Finland only acknowledge s-xual harassment if it involves physical touch.
In fact, people who send lewd images, are usually persecuted under the country’s defamation laws.
The proposed legislation could be submitted “sometime next year,” Sami Kiriakos from Finland’s justice ministry told AFP.
A Plan International study shows that 51% of 41,000 young women and girls worldwide experienced s-xual harassment online.
Moreover, 35% of the surveyed women between the ages of 15-25 have received explicit photos online.
Part of an Extensive Updating of Laws on Harassment
The proposal is part of an extensive updating of laws on s-xual offenses.
The update also includes the redefinition of r-pe, and harsher punishment for crimes against minors, per a Yle report.
Finland’s Justice Minister, Anna-Maja Henriksson said the proposed changes will further “protect victims,” Yle reported.
The proposed legislation, in the case of crimes of r-pe, will use “voluntary consent” instead of just “consent.”
The change will shift the focus on the act of r-pe in terms of consent and not just through the occurrence of violence.
Aside from the first two changes, the recommendation will also include separate regulations for s-xual offenses for minors.
There is also a recommendation to increase the minimum prison sentence for s-xual offenders of minors.
The recommendations reflect a citizen’s initiative, Consent2018, which received around 57,000 signatures.
According to the Consent2018 campaign team, it wanted Finland’s law to reflect people’s right to self-determination, per another Yle report.