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Are all employees at your workplace aware of the rights of the child?


Author Tia Ristimäki

An illustrated black child jumps on a trampoline. The background has colorful surfaces.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world, and yet there are many people who do not know what this agreement entails. To fill this gap, a 10-part online training package on the rights of the child has been published in eOppiva as part of the National Child Strategy. The target group is all professionals who meet children in their work and bodies that prepare and make decisions concerning children. ​

Municipalities play a key role in the realisation of children’s rights

Children and young people spend a large part of their lives in services provided by municipalities: at nursery, school, hobbies, youth centres, libraries, parks, etc. Most official decisions and administrative measures related to children and young people are also made by municipalities. Municipal employees and decision-makers are, therefore, crucial guardians and enforcers of children’s rights.

It is essential to ensure that all employees and decision-makers in municipalities know about children’s rights and understand what they mean in municipalities’ operations and decision-making processes. Did you know, for example, that the rights of the child are legally binding on all employees and decision-makers in a municipality?

City of Vantaa employees and decision-makers familiarise themselves with the rights of the child in a training course

The City of Vantaa is committed to developing the realisation of children’s rights and child-friendliness in all its activities. We are also involved in UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative, which also obliges and supports us to ensure that municipal employees and officials are familiarised with children’s rights. It has been decided in Vantaa that all city employees and elected officials complete the eOppiva introductory training course in 2023.

The realisation of children’s rights does not take place by itself but we have to work on this issue every day. The City of Vantaa’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative team coordinates the implementation of the training. It has taken a lot of work, but fortunately our efforts seem to be paying off. More than 1,700 City of Vantaa employees have registered for and/or completed the introductory training course to date.

How was this achieved?

  1. The best news was the completion of the national training package that is open to everyone.
  2. The City’s executives included completion of the training in its policy.
  3. The City administration has encouraged employees to complete the training.
  4. The City’s communications team has been involved in circulating information about the training course both internally and externally.
  5. The City’s HR team has been involved in planning a monitoring system for the training and its implementation.
  6. We have produced material for workplaces to support online training.
  7. Contact persons in the administrative sectors have considered and supported the implementation of training in their sectors and service areas.
  8. We offer work communities the opportunity to organise a joint training event if this is preferable to individual online training.
  9. We are organising a city-level seminar on the rights of the child and their implementation in Vantaa during Children’s Rights Week 2023.

Our goal is to ensure that as many Vantaa employees and officials as possible undergo training. This will allow everyone who has completed the course to expand their knowledge of children’s rights and put this knowledge into practice.

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