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The founding organizations of KIOS Foundation elected new KIOS Board of Directors for the next two years. The newly elected Chair of the KIOS Board is Outi Hannula (Kepa) and Vice-Chair is Eva-Marita Rinne-Koistinen (Finn Church Aid).
The Board of KIOS has the responsibility of overseeing the activities and of managing the funds of KIOS. The Board approves the annual action and financial plans and manages, oversees and guides the activities of KIOS Foundation.
The Board of KIOS is elected from the founding organizations of KIOS. The founding organizations of KIOS are experts in the Finnish field of human rights and development work.
We interviewed the new Chair of KIOS Board Outi Hannula. More introductions to members of KIOS Board will follow later on during the spring.
KIOS asks, Outi Hannula answers:
Who are you and what is your background?
– I am a Program Director at Kepa which is a platform for Finnish civil society organizations. My areas of responsibility are development work, global education and training activities. I am Master of Social Sciences, and I majored in international politics and development studies. I have done volunteer work in multiple human rights and development organizations. I have for instance been Chair in Seta – LGBTI Rights in Finland.
How would your friends describe you?
– I am calm and optimistic.
What is your organization Kepa like in a nutshell?
– Kepa is a platform for over 300 Finnish civil society organizations and an expert on global development issues. Kepa seeks to influence political decision making and public opinion and seeks to enhance the capacities of its member organizations and create possibilities for cooperation. We also have supporting functions for local organizations in Tanzania and Mozambique.
Why is the work of KIOS important?
–Globally human rights are not reality for many people. The space of citizens to defend human rights is narrowing down at an alarming rate. The support of KIOS to small and medium size human rights actors is crucial. Most of world population have not experienced what it feels like to live in a world where human rights are respected.
What do you see as the biggest challenges for the realization of human rights?
– People don’t know that they have rights and a right to defend these rights. On the other hand, some governments are not responsible in ensuring the equal rights for all and, in contrast, may be violating the rights of their citizens.
What is the role of human rights in development?
– I don’t believe that development without human rights is sustainable development.
How do you see the role of individuals in the work for the realization of human rights?
– Though governance and authorities have essential responsibility of the realization of human rights, the role of individuals can also be significant. Change is seldom possible without the work of human rights defenders. For example, many human rights violations are exposed only because of the work of individuals.
How do you see the role of civil society organizations in the future?
– I believe the role of citizen action will grow. It remains to be seen whether people will organize among themselves into organizations or in other ways, for instance through on-line platforms. But as long as there are injustices there is also a great need for active citizenship. Thus far, dictatorships and human rights violations are still a reality – this means there is still a lot of work to be done.
In which human rights and development issues have you seen positive development in recent years?
– Luckily there are also positive news, for instance when it comes to clean water, child mortality and girl child education in the past decades. There has also been some progress in worker’s rights issues. I hope that there would be positive development in energy production issues through the use of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
KIOS Board 2017-2019:
Outi Hannula, Chair
Eva-Marita Rinne-Koistinen, Vice-Chair
Finn Church Aid
Amnesty International Finnish Section
The Finnish League for Human Rights
The Finnish Refugee Council
Finnish Peace Committee
Committee of 100 in Finland
Finnish Committee for UNICEF
The UN Association of Finland
Disability Partnership Finland