The right of children and youths to arts and culture is not yet realized equally and equitably in Finland, and we are concerned that the situation has become even worse due to the coronavirus crisis.
Children’s culture professionals are a national resource for the promotion of the wellbeing and cultural rights of children and youths. For example, children’s culture plays a key role in the prevention of exclusion. Arts activities allow children and youths to build important networks and to process their personal feelings. Art hobbies have a positive impact on, for example, the development of reading skills. Children and youths should also be offered art experiences that cover the entire age group like the Art Testers model.
The petition is open from May 3 to June 13, after which the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres will present the petition to the Minister of Science and Culture Antti Kurvinen and the municipalities.
To ensure that the right of children and youths to arts and culture is realized equally and equitably in our country, we the undersigned call upon our policymakers to promote the following objectives:
- A cultural education plan that is binding on the teachers is produced for each municipality together with the department of education and cultural services and implemented as part of the curriculum at schools.
- In the Finnish model, children and youths should have the opportunity to choose a leisure activity that is enjoyable to them and produced to a high standard from the field of arts and culture as well.
- Accessibility is taken into account better in activities to ensure that children and youths can engage in arts and cultural activities regardless of disabilities, support needs, native language, or the financial situation of their family, for example.
- Each municipality will secure sufficient funding for quality children’s culture in their budget and ensure that operators in the field of arts and culture have sufficient resources for producing and developing reasonably priced services and events to families with children and youths. Children’s culture is included as part of the cultural strategy.
- Child impact analysis in accordance with UNICEF’s Child Friendly Municipality model is implemented in the municipality and children and youths are given a voice as part of the decision-making in the municipality.
Thank you for signing the petition!