Children and Youth Protection in Finland
- Up to which age is one regarded as a child and young person respectively?
- Are children/teens allowed to stay in public places?
- Are children/teens allowed to stay in restaurants or dance halls / ballrooms?
- Are children/teens allowed to stay in night clubs, bars, casinos, places for gambling etc.?
- Is it allowed to sell spirits to children/teens?
- Which restrictions are there for children/teens to visit public film screenings?
- Are children/teens allowed to smoke in public?
- Is it allowed for children/teens to go to internet café?
- Which restrictions are there about carrying knifes, martial arts equipment, weapons?
- Which regulations are there concerning sexual relations with children/teens?
- Which restrictions are there if foreign young people want to work temporarily?
- To which institutions can children/teens turn to if they need help?
- Useful internet sites about youth protection
- More information
According to Finnish child protection act (Lastensuojelulaki 13.4.2007/417), a "child" is a person under the age of eighteen; a "young person" is under twenty-one. According to the Finnish Youth Act (72/2006), "young people" means those under 29 years of age.
Children are allowed to stay in restaurants, but it is forbidden to serve drinks containing alcohol to a person under 18 years (Alcohol Act 1143 / 1993 Alkoholilaki, § 24).
The only restrictions concerning presence in these kind of places are the ones concerning use and purchase of alcoholic products.
Night Clubs, Bars:
No, the age limit for bars and nightclubs, where alcohol is served is 18 years. (Alcohol Act 1143 / 1993 Alkoholilaki, § 24).
No, there are no legal restrictions on this matter.
It is not allowed for minors (< 18 years olds) to stay in casinos (Lotteries Act / Arpajaislaki 1047/2001, § 15).
Young people under 15 years are not allowed to play gambling machines unless they are accompanied by a adult (> 18 years) belonging to the same family. Gambling machines should be placed in surroundings where they can be supervised (Lotteries Act / Arpajaislaki 1047/2001, § 16).
It is not allowed to sell products with high percentage of alcohol to a person under 20 years. Light spirits can be sold to a person over 18 years. (Alcohol Act 1143 / 1993 Alkoholilaki, § 24).
It is prohibited to sell products containing maximum 2,8 percent alcohol by volume to a person under 18 years old. (Alcohol Act 1143 / 1993 Alkoholilaki, § 24).
There are five different labels of public film screenings.
These are S (allowed for everyone), K-7 (age limit 7), K-11 (age limit 11), K-15
(age limit 15), K-18 (age limit 18).
Children under a certain age limit are not allowed to watch a movie labeled with it. These restictions are, however, flexible so that when accompanied by a major (person over 18 years old) a child can be two years younger than the limitation says. This rule doesn't concern films with a label K-18. (Act on the classification of audiovisual programmes 775/2000).
is no legistlation on childrens or young peoples public smoking.
It is, however, prohibited to sell tobacco products to minors (Act on Measures to Restrict Tobacco Smoking / Laki toimenpiteistä tupakoinnin vähentämiseksi 13.8.1976/693, § 10).
Yes it is allowed for children/young people to go to internet cafés. There is no general agenda for protection of children against harmful matters in the web, but here beneath is a link to an ongoing project around this theme:
The "Finnish Internet Awareness" is part of the European network insafe for a safer Internet. The program is committed to many activities such as campaigns, training or a hotline for safe Internet use. Goal is to set up a helpline for children including under which they can exchange experiences and get support for problems.
It is not allowed to carry or possess weapons that could harm other people in public places (Public Order Act / Järjestyslaki 612/2003, § 10).
It is not allowed to hand over airguns, spring-controlled weapons or harpoon guns to minors without a consent of guardian (Public Order Act, § 11).
It is considered criminal to have sexual relations with a person under 16 years.
Penal Code, Chapter 20 Section 6Sexual abuse of a child (563/1998):
1. A person who
- (1) has sexual intercourse with a child younger than sixteen years of age,
- (2) by touching or otherwise performs a sexual act to a child younger than sixteen years of age, said act being conducive to impairing his/her development,
- (3) or gets him/her to perform an act referred to in subparagraph (2), shall be sentenced for sexual abuse of a child to imprisonment for at most four years.
2. However, an act referred to in paragraph (1) is not deemed sexual abuse of a child if there is no great difference in the ages or the mental and physical maturity of the persons involved.
3. A person shall also be sentenced for sexual abuse of a child if he/she commits an act referred to in paragraph (1) with a person over sixteen but younger than eighteen years of age, if the offender is the parent of the child or, if living in the same household with the child, the offender is in a position comparable to that of a parent.
4. An attempt is punishable.
A young person 14 + years (it is enough that a person turns 14 during the same year) can be hired for temporary work. This work, however, can last maximum 6 months and should be arranged to happen during school holidays. Young person can also work besides going to school, but in this case the work should be very light and last for a short period of time. We don't have the system of working holiday in our country.
Finnish employment offices are part of the EURES employment exchange system of the European Commission. The system provides guidance, information and employment exchange services for those who seek jobs in another European country. It is also a forum for employers to advertise vacancies and to recruit employees.
Emergency number: 112
Childrens'- ja young people's help-line (Lasten ja nuorten puhelin)
offers discussion help in difficult life situations: 0800-120 400
Criminal offer-services (Rikosuhripäivystys): 0203-16116
Crises help-line (Nuorten kriisipisteen kriisipuhelin): 09-7535 121
Information for youth in various matters:
emergeny phone: 0505636546
See: http://www.helsinki.diplo.de/Vertretung/helsinki/de/Startseite.html (website in german)
Central Union for Child Welfare in Finland:
Office of the Ombudsman for Children (Lapsiasiainvaltuutetun toimisto)
The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare
Laws can be easily found from the website:
Ministery Of Education - Department Youth Policy (08/2009)
For the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information we can not guarantee.