Living conditions of children and young people in the Nordic region
The Nordic Welfare Centre’s mission is to promote and develop collaboration on a social, sustainable and inclusive Nordic region, a Nordic region that is the best place for children and young people to grow up in.
Our focus is on child and youth policy that promotes children and young people’s sense of belonging and participation in society. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is central to our work. We prioritise knowledge and collaboration about work by the countries to make sure that all children in the Nordic region have the opportunity to develop their abilities and skills on equal terms. We present learning examples, and we convey and compile research and news about Nordic and international child and youth policy.
The right of children and young people to be heard, seen and involved
The Nordic Welfare Centre gathers knowledge about how everyone who works for and with children and young people in the Nordic region can make sure to a greater extent that children and young people are heard, seen and involved in all matters that affect them. The societies of the future should make use of all available resources to develop good societies. This means that all residents must be involved. Children and young people do not have the same formal and informal channels to participate and influence as adults, but they do have important contributions to make.
- Opportunities for children and young people to participate after the Covid-19 pandemic
- Children, young people and participation
Integration of newly-arrived children and families
We identify at an early stage preventive social interventions, methods and working practices that facilitate the inclusion of newly-arrived children and their parents or other guardians. For children and young people, this means, among other things, knowledge about inclusion, belonging and participation on equal terms in all of society’s arenas, such as preschool, school, leisure time and in the local environment.
- Newly-arrived children and young people in the Nordic region
- Preschool – the first and most important arena for inclusion
Equal opportunities for development
Article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises: “the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development”. The Nordic countries are societies in which the vast majority have good opportunities, but this does not include everyone. The capacity of children and young people to take advantage of these opportunities depends on whether the child receives sufficient support in his or her development as described in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The core of Nordic child poverty, for example, can be best understood as developmental poverty.
Good physical and mental health
A secure upbringing and good care conditions lay the foundations for all children to have a good life, both now and in the future. Physical and mental health are linked to children’s opportunities for building up quality of life, happiness and well-being throughout their lives. For children and young people, this means, among other things, that knowledge about mental health must be as important as knowledge about physical health in all the arenas where they live out their lives: in the family, at preschool, at school, in their leisure time and in the local environment.
- New report: School achievement and health development in the Nordic countries
- Mental illness in children and young people in the Nordic region
- Support for and follow-up on children exposed to alcohol and drugs before birth – in a Nordic perspective