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.
One of the key objectives of the National Youth Work and Youth Policy Programme for 2017–2019 is to provide young people with more opportunities for participation and exerting influence.
The Division for Youth Work and Youth Policy at the Ministry of Education and Culture promotes the participation of young people
- through activities of the youth work centres of expertise
- by funding the online service Nuortenideat.fi, which provides a platform for dialogue between young people and various organisations. The service is part of the website Demokratia.fi maintained by the Ministry of Justice.
- by subsidising national youth work organisations
- by subsidising development projects that promote participation and democracy education and serve the youth sector