4. Social Inclusion
Social inclusion is one of the most central themes to the Youth Act and youth policy in Finland. According to the 2016 Youth Act, the purpose of the Act is to “promote the social inclusion of young people and provide them with opportunities to exert an influence and improve their skills and capabilities to function in society”. Social inclusion is a wide concept. Therefore, promoting social inclusion is an approach, which can be applied in several sectors of youth policy. For example, raising the employment rate, lowering the number of early school leavers, and reducing the number of people living at risk, as well as promoting multiculturalism, sustainable development and gender equality are all part of social inclusion policies. In practice, it can mean supporting early teen, youth, student and other organisations to create equal opportunities for participation in multicultural activities and community life and to gender mainstreaming as part of legislation drafting (for more information, visit Youth Wiki/Finland 4.4 Inclusive Programmes for Young People).
One of the most important structural changes in the area of the social inclusion policy in Finland is the ongoing reform of the social and healthcare services. The objective is to reduce the health disparities in Finland and manage costs more effectively. In 2021, the reform is still ongoing. For more information, visit Youth Wiki/Finland 7.8 Current Debates and Reforms.