Children’s Rights Week kicks off with special session for children
Children’s Rights Week kicked off today with a special session at the Government Palace, where children of different ages from all over Finland could discuss things on their minds with several ministers.
At the event, children had the opportunity to ask Prime Minister Sanna Marin their questions and to take part in a joint panel discussion with Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru, Minister of the Interior Krista Mikkonen, Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen, Minister of Education Li Andersson and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Maria Ohisalo.
The children had questions for the ministers on a wide range of topics. For example, the ministers were asked what could be done to respond to the growing pressure on children and young people and how climate change would affect young people’s wellbeing in the future. The children were also curious about the ministers’ sewing skills and favourite subjects at school.
The children at the event ranged in age from preschool pupils to students in upper secondary school. Students from Vuotso School in Sodankylä travelled the longest distance to attend the session. The session was organised for the first time by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ombudsman for Children and the National Child Strategy.
“A key policy approach in the National Child Strategy is to listen to the views of children and young people. This session is one way to bring their views to the attention of the state leadership and society at large. The idea is to hold sessions like this in the coming years, too,” says Johanna Laisaari, Secretary General for the National Child Strategy.
A recording of the Children’s Rights Week Session will be available on the Yle Areena service until 31 December 2022. The video content is part of a new publication model being piloted by the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle.
Children’s Rights Week is held annually in connection with World Children’s Day, which aims to increase awareness of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and promote the realisation of children’s rights worldwide.
World Children’s Day is celebrated every year on 20 November. The UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1959 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the same date in 1989.
Inquiries: Johanna Laisaari, Secretary General for the National Child Strategy, tel. +358 295 161 177 and Tiina-Kaisa Laakso-Liukkonen, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 160 220, Prime Minister’s Office