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Etusivun vinjetti EN uusi 2014

The basic duty of the Ombudsman for Children is to promote the implementation of children's rights in Finland. At the outset we put an emphasis more on promoting children being heard and their participation. Read more >>

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"Childhood Inequality - the Wellbeing of Children as shown by National Indicators", was presented to Minister of Social Services and Health Susanna Huovinen in Helsinki on 25 April. Picture: Heikki Pälviä

Broad assessment of wellbeing of children in Finland

Reducing inequality between children requires the prevention of both financial and care poverty, says Ombudsman for Children Maria Kaisa Aula in her latest annual report. Although statistics indicate that Finnish children are doing well, the wellbeing of approximately one in ten minors is under threat. The report, titled "Childhood Inequality - the Wellbeing of Children as shown by National Indicators", was presented to Minister of Social Services and Health Susanna Huovinen in Helsinki on 25 April.
New operating models needed in services for children and families
English summary of the Annual report
Annual Report 2014: Wellbeing of Children in Finland (in Finnish) Statistical background for the Annual Report (in Finnish)

Tuomas Kurttila is the new Ombudsman for Children in Finland

Tuomas Kurttila, who works as the Executive Director of Finnish Parents' League, is the new Ombudsman for Children in Finland. Ombudsman for Children Maria Kaisa Aula is happy that the appointment of the new Ombudsman proceeded quickly. – During the past years, Tuomas Kurttila has supported the work of Ombudsman for Children in many ways, Maria Kaisa Aula states.

The new Ombudsman for Children will begin his work in Jyväskylä on 1 May 2014

Children's contribution needed in developing
alternative care

High quality child care is no longer possible without the voice of children and young people. Maria Kaisa Aula, the Ombudsman for Children in Finland, and Helena Inkinen, member of the experience group Survivors speaking about children's contribution in the Dubrovnik Conference of Council of Europe on March 27–28.
"Protect your dreams - safeguard the hope"(PPT)

Ombudsman for Children has resigned from office

Maria Kaisa Aula, Ombudsman for Children, has resigned from office. She will finish work at the end of April 2014. "I have been enthusiastically involved in establishing this new authority in Finland that promotes the human rights of children. The work has been creative and rewarding in content, but also stressful because the office is understaffed," she gives the reason for resigning.
Media release on the resignation of the Ombudsman for Children

Have faith in my strengths

Universal Children's Day is celebrated on Wednesday 20 November. This year in Finland, particular emphasis is given to the rights of those children and adolescents who have some disability that affects their life. "Have faith in my strengths" is the message children wish to communicate to adults. 
Children's rights belong to all children

Let the boys decide on ritual circumcision

The Nordic Ombudsmen for Children and pediatric experts are of the opinion that circumcision without medical indications in conflict with Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. There are no health-related grounds to circumcise young boys in the Nordic countries.
Joint statement from the Nordic Ombudsmen for Children and pediatric experts

What is up to date?

Ombudsman for Children in Finland presented her activities at the ENOC meeting in Brussels in the end of September. Here you can upload the presentations.
Municipality fit for children - opinion making project (pdf)
Rights of the deaf and hard of hearing children in Finland (pdf)

Act on Child Custody and Right of Access in English

Act on Child Custody and Right of Access has been translated in English 

Nordic and Baltic Ombudsmen for Children Urge their Governments to Take Steps to Reduce Corporal Punishment of Children

The Nordic and Baltic ombudsmen for children urge the Estonian and Lithuanian governments and parliaments to take decisions to ban corporal punishment of children in legislation. Similar measures are expected from the decision-makers of the Greenland self-government area.
Active campaigning is needed
The common statement of the ombudsmen for children 

Authorities must provide better information and counceling for children, young people and parents

The Ombudsman for Children in Finland reminds municipal and state authorities of their duty to communicate on services for children, young people and families, as well as on the related instruments of legal protection, in an efficient and intelligible manner. The Ombudsman for Children receives hundreds of communications from citizens each year.
The counceling must also reach children and young people 
The Annual Report 2013 in Finnish and Swedish with an abstract in English

Improved legal protection for children and young people

The priorities of the Ombudsman for Children's operations in 2013 include utilising the experience-based knowledge of children and young people in the development of municipalities, and promoting the legal protection and security of children and young people. The national theme of the Children's Rights Day 2013 will be the rights of disabled children.
Office of the Ombudsman for Children's Action Plan for 2013.pdf
Information in Russian on the Office of Ombudsman for Children in Finland

New legal protection measures for eradication of school bullying

The Ombudsman for Children, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Central Finland, and the Regional State Administrative Agency for Western and Inland Finland propose measures for the eradication of school bullying.
Children have the right to a safe learning environment  

Local goverment reform to promote childfriendliness

Maria Kaisa Aula, the Ombudsman for Children, delivered her annual report, Lasten ja nuorten kunta luo hyvinvointia (Childfriendly municipality creates wellbeing) to Henna Virkkunen, Minister of Public Administration and Local Government, at Parliament House on June 19.
Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Children 2012 (In Finnish) >>
Abstract "Childfriendly municipality creates wellbeing" >>

"Hey, look at me!" Interaction and well-being in the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing children

Almost ninety children and 24 sets of parents were interviewed for this publication which is a collaboration of the Ombudsman for Children in Finland, the Finnish Association of the Deaf and the Finnish Association of Parents of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children. It includes comments from experts in deafness and sign language. The publication concludes with a list of recommendations from the Ombudsman for Children in Finland.
English summary of the publication ”Hey, look at me!”>>

Welsh delegation learned about Finland's zero tolerance 

Welsh National Assembly members visited Finland where corporal punishment of children has been banned since 1984. The ombudsman for children in Finland presented the national action plan 2010-2015, Don't hit the child! 29.2.2012
National Institute for Health and Welfare hosted the study tour >>

Tools for human rights education for children

How to encourage a child to step into someone else's shoes and face dissimilarity? The question is answered in the Manual on Human Rights Education for Children, Compasito, which was recently published in Finnish in cooperation with the Council of Europe. 24.2.2012
Compasito guide book in Finnish (PDF 21 Mt) >>
Council of Europe’s Compasito pages>>

The Universal Children's Day statement encourages better everyday life

A representative group of powerful bodies in education, religion, the economy and society encourages Finns to make everyday life better with small actions. We can have a positive influence by saying hello, eating together, and by making a statement if someone is being bullied against.
Updating of Finnish traditions of care and upbringing >>

Ensuring a happy upbringing - praise a child every day

The theme of the Universal Children's Day this year is children's right to upbringing. The Ombudsman for Children in Finland and different organisations working with children, adolescents and families want to draw people's attention to the significance of the upbringing children receive at home and the importance of adults working in partnership.
Use positive upbringing and your authority, not violence >>

Children's rights as part of disability policy

The Ombudsman for Children considers Finland's disability policy as too adult-centred. She is demanding a child impact assessment for the new legislation.
- We must ensure that children with special needs and their families obtain the necessary services regardless of where they live, says Maria Kaisa Aula.
The right to be a child, not just a target for services >>
New publication on the rights of the disabled child (in Finnish) >>

Legal protection of children our new focus area

A new focus area in the activities of the Ombudsman for Children in Finland is the improvement of the legal protection of children and young people. We want to help adults to utilize better children ́s experience in the promotion of the quality of services.
Report of the Ombudsman for Children in Finland at the ENOC annual meeting >>
ENOC meeting in Warsaw looks at children in institutions >>

Committee hears children on the reduction of corporal punishment

Children feel that the most effective way of reducing corporal punishment is helping parents with their problems.  A survey of children carried out by the Office of the Ombudsman for Children also shows that it is important to increase children's confidence in services and the adults who provide them. The results of the survey were utilised by the committee on corporal punishment. Read more:
Publication 'Don't hit the child' >>
Ministry press release >>
Press release of the Office of the Ombudsman for Children >>

Good recommendations from the UN concerning the rights of the child

The Ombudsman for Children and NGOs promoting children's rights are pleased with the recommendations issued to the Finnish government by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child last Monday. The focus of the recommendations was on children's wellbeing at school and the quality of child welfare services, as anticipated.
More participation by children in the day-to-day operations of schools >>
UN Committee recommendations in English >>

A new manual for a child-friendly Finland for decision-makers

The Ombudsman for Children in Finland's Yearbook 2011 is a decision-maker's manual for a child-friendly Finland. It was presented to the Finnish Parliament on 16 July. According to the Yearbook, ‘Time for Children - Emphasis on Upbringing', and the discussion book, ‘Ten Questions on Upbringing', both released in June 16, parents must not leave their children to grow up alone, and parents must not be left to bring up their children alone.
Summary in English >>
The Yearbook in Finnish and Swedish, with a summary in English >>

Children and young people need information on their rights as patients

Children and young people do not have sufficient access to intelligible information on their rights as patients. They rarely contact the patient ombudsman directly, even though the services should be accessible to patients of all ages.
Ombudsman for Children investigates the status of child patients >>

Children and adolescents evaluate for the UN how well their rights are implemented

Intolerance, premature adulthood and lack of participation were mentioned by children's and adolescents' interest groups as points of improvement in Finland. They met with Maria Herczog, a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, in Jyväskylä.
Read more about the meeting between the UN Rapporteur and young people >>
The presentations of children and young people to UN rapporteur Maria Herczog >>

Child impact assessment proceeds in Finland

Child impact assessment has progressed in Finland little by little during last ten years. There are pilots and good practices both at national and local level. The Ombudsman office has published a research report on the issue.
Summary of the situation in Finland >>
Guidebook on child impact assesment >>

It pays to invest in the welfare of children and families

What causes prime ministers of the Nordic countries, the Baltic
countries and Great Britain to address family issues? The indicators of a nation's success are changing. Secondly, people are interested in the success of the Nordic model. Public services aimed at families are designed to support both the employment of mothers and fathers and the welfare of the children.
Summary of the discussionin UK summit >>

The Ombudman's report to the UN Committee

The first report issued by the Finnish Ombudsman for Children to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child stresses information gained from surveys and research conducted among children.
Read the release >>
Read the report in English >>
The statement of the Ombudsman in Geneva>>

"Being Saami is a Gift"

The Saami are the only indigenous people´s group in Europe. This publication by Minna Rasmus tells about the opinions of Saami children and about their rights in Finland. It is based on the study that was published in 2008 in Finnish and in Saami.
Read the article >>

"More Similar than Different"

The Roma people are a traditional Finnish minority. The Roma children in Finland told about their opinions and realization of their rights in the research report for the Ombudsman for Children in 2009.
Read the article >>