Helsinki, 21 March, 2006
The Ombudsman for Children promotes the realization of the rights and interests of children at the general decision-making and legislative levels. She works in collaboration with other officials, organizations, child research and other interest groups dealing with issues concerning children. One aim is to improve collaboration among all those involved in child policy through better coordination.
The post of Ombudsman for Children is established by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989. Finland ratified it in 1991, and the 1990s saw a number of initiatives by Parliament towards the setting up of the post of the Ombudsman.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health set up an interim Committee on the Rights of the Child on 21 March 2003. This was the representative national body require by the final document adopted by the Special Session on Children of the UN General Assembly. On the basis of the proposal of the Committee, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health prepared a government draft proposal to Parliament for a law on the creation of the post of Ombudsman.
The law on the creation of the Ombudsman for Children came into force 1 September 2005. The Ombudsman Maria Kaisa Aula started work the same day.