Inclusion and participation of young people
The Ministry of Education and Culture works to promote young people’s participation and inclusion, while the Government Programme pledges to assess the impacts of decisions on children and families.
The objective of the Youth Act is to support diverse inclusion. The obligation to promote young people’s inclusion applies not only to municipalities but also to central government administration and all activities supported by the central government. The Youth Act also obliges municipalities and central government authorities to offer and organise for young people an opportunity to participate and exert influence in the processing of issues related to local, regional and national youth work and youth policy or to otherwise consult young people on these issues. In addition, young people’s views shall be heard in matters concerning them.
The Local Government Act and the Basic Education Act also contain obligations to promote the inclusion and consultation of children and young people. The municipalities must have a youth council or a similar participation group, which must be given an opportunity to exert influence in different sectors. Schools must have a student body that enables cooperation between the students and the education provider.
The participation of children and young people is included as a cross-cutting theme in the national action plan of the international Open Government Partnership Initiative (OPG) for 2015-2017. The aim is to involve children and young people in drafting statutes, to train public servants in hearing different age groups and to launch experimentation projects.