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EACEA National Policies Platform


4. Social Inclusion

Last update: 28 November 2023

The approaches and principles concerned with social inclusion and welfare in 2016 defined at the Government level in the document Welfare Development Plan 2016-2023 (Heaolu arengukava 2016-2023) arise from the principles of a social and welfare state, the framework of fundamental and social rights, and social protection principles. There is no single body responsible for the social inclusion of young people as the domain covers several policy areas, with established division of tasks between different ministries and between local and central level. In youth field and in the field of child protection the provision of services is generally the responsibility of local governments, while state provides the legal framework and additional support in areas of strategic priority and quality of services. See more in Chapter 4.2.  


There is no single document targeted to deal with social exclusion at national level, but a set of official documents integrating major directions guide the policymaking and implementation of respective ambitions in relation to the social inclusion of young people. Young people are in the centre of the Youth Sector Development Plan 2021-2035 (Noortevaldkonna arengukava 2021-2035), adopted 12.08.2021. To foster the social inclusion of youth, the focus is on youth participation, empowerment and social security, while taking account specific needs as well as the limited rights and access to resources of young people.


In addition, youth population is covered in strategies with a general notion of social cohesion and social protection in society, like:

·      „Estonia 2035“ Strategy and Action Plan (Strateegia „Eesti 2035“, „Eesti 2035“ Tegevuskava)

·      Welfare Development Plan 2016-2023 (Heaolu arengukava 2016-2023);

·      Draft Welfare Development Plan 2023-2030 (Heaolu arengukava 2023-2030 Koostamise ettepanek)(tbc).

See more in Chapter 4.3. 


In 2021 the Government approved the Green Paper on Mental Health (Vaimse tervise roheline raamat) prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs in 2020, aiming at contributing more to the prevention, early detection and timely availability of high-quality care throughout Estonia. The Green Paper on Mental Health (Vaimse tervise roheline raamat) presents children and youth at the age of 0-19 years as one of its specific focuses.


There are special programs designed to support the social inclusion and social security of young people, see more in Chapter 4.4