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FSD2546 Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010: Finland

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Authors

  • Hetemäki, Inka (UNICEF Finland)
  • Oksanen, Eija (UNICEF Finland)
  • Pronin, Nina (UNICEF Finland)
  • Suvilaakso, Tanja (UNICEF Finland)

Keywords

adolescence, adolescents, attitudes, children, decision making, family life, human rights, political participation, public political influence, schoolchildren, social influence

Abstract

This survey constituted the Finnish part of the Nordic Study on Child Rights to Participate 2009-2010, conducted by UNICEF. The integrated data from all Nordic countries are also archived at the FSD (see FSD2547). The Finnish survey had 1,044 respondents.

The main aim of the study was to investigate to what extent children and young people can influence matters at home, school and in society and what issues they would like to have influence on. Other main themes included how much children and young people know about children's rights and human rights in general.

Knowledge of child and human rights were charted by asking the respondents how much they knew about the rights of the child, where they had got the information from, and whom do the rights concern. The respondents were also asked to what extent they agreed with statements relating to human rights issues, for instance, to corporal punishment of children, whether all people have the same rights regardless of their religion, whether boys and girls have the same rights etc.

One topic pertained to what extent the respondents were able influence matters at home, school and spare time and how important they considered it to be to be able to influence these matters, including use of own money, bed times, interior and decor of their own room, where to live if parents divorced, hobbies, decision which school to go to, what one learns at school, school menu, facilities in the municipality, the family's water and electricity consumption etc. Next, the respondents were asked whether they agreed with statements relating to the media, decision making at school, voting age, and climate change. In addition, they were asked to name the three most important issues they would like to have influence on and the three most important things that can be done to combat climate change.

The respondents were asked whether they had participated in the school council or other school bodies, other school activities (e.g. as peer mediators/tutors), local or youth council or political party activities. Opinions were charted on the importance of different channels or methods of participation and how well these had worked in their own case. Channels/methods mentioned included petitions, demonstrations, different kinds of youth bodies, online blog postings etc. The respondents also evaluated the quality of their life on a 10-point scale.

Background information included the respondent's age, gender, R's and parents' country of birth and whether the parents had university education or not.

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