Non-Violent Childhoods Action Plan

A close-up picture of the child



Unit at THL:

Health and Well-Being Promotion

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The aim of the Non-Violent Childhoods Action Plan is to prevent mental, physical and sexual violence targeting children between the ages of 0 and 17 in Finland.

The action plan was published in November 2019 and the implementation and communication plan in spring 2021. The implementation of the plan is monitored and steered by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare's appointed steering group consisting of representatives of four ministries (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment) and 28 other organisations. 
Steering group

National objectives and measures for preventing violence

The action plan contains the national objectives and 93 evidence-based measures from the perspectives of the prevention of violence against underage children, the mitigation of harm and actual treatment, with the main emphasis on prevention. The publication also includes a statistical review (Chapter 3) and a summary of the legal provisions and binding agreements concerning violence against children (Chapter 4).

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the policies of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) INSPIRE strategies form the conceptual basis. The National Child Strategy, published in 2021, plays its own part in preventing violence against children.

Core messages concerning the implementation of the whole Action Plan are based on General Comment No 13 (2011) of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Every child and young person has the right to non-violent childhood and youth. All forms of violence against children can and must be prevented. A mid-term review of the Action Plan will be carried out under the supervision of the steering group in 2022.

The action plan is a handbook-like publication based on research evidence, which can also be utilised by professionals from different fields as training material.

The action plan highlights 

  • Inclusion and other rights of the child 
  • factors protecting against violence and risk factors 
  • the consequences of violence
  • multidisciplinary cooperation
  • assistance and support for children who have already been the victims of violence.

The measures are divided under five different themes

The action plan’s measures are divided under five different themes:

  1. Multidisciplinary cooperation and information flow
  2. Legislation, agreements, inclusion and knowledge base
  3. Domestic violence in the family
  4. Sexual violence
  5. Violence and safety skills education in environments outside the home.

The contents also take into account children and young people in a particularly vulnerable position:

  • Children and young people with disabilities and reduced functional capacity
  • Ethnic groups and linguistic and cultural minorities
  • Children in child welfare placement
  • Children and young people in sexual and gender minorities.

Vulnerable groups

The content of the action plan also addresses some specific topical issues:

  • Human trafficking
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Non-medical circumcision of boys
  • Violent extremism
  • Honour-based violence
  • Violence in religious communities. 

Specific issues


As a rule, implementation is promoted as part of the work of different organisations. In addition, various programmes and projects as well as separate funding from ministries and various organisations support implementation. 


Contact information

Rika Rajala
tel. +358 (0)29 524 7408
[email protected]

Ulla Korpilahti
Development Manager
tel. +358 29 524 8668
E-mail: [email protected]