Promotion of inclusion

A person is on a street surrounded by soap bubbles.

At the individual level, inclusion is manifested as an experience that emerges when a person feels that they belong to a group or community significant to them. At the level of community inclusion is manifested as mutual respect and trust between members of the community and as the opportunity to have an influence in one’s own community.  At the level of society, inclusion means the realisation of opportunities and rights and the reciprocity of people. At the level of policy, inclusion refers to measures that strengthen the participation and inclusion of people in society.

Societal structures and the services provided by municipalities and regions, including health and social services and employment services, play an important role in promoting inclusion.  Other actors such as schools, workplaces, NGOs, clubs, parishes and associations also play important roles in strengthening inclusion. Residents, clients and experts by experience should be included in the planning, development and evaluation of services. Supporting the active participation of citizens and strengthening the individual's own agency are part of promoting inclusion.

Inclusion of people in the weakest position

When promoting inclusion, special attention should be paid to those people who are in the weakest position and who face discrimination. Sokra, a project to coordinate the promotion of social inclusion, produces information, supports the developers of work that promotes inclusion and encourages people to take action to promote the inclusion of the most vulnerable.

Project to co-ordinate the promotion of social inclusion (Sokra)

Resident and client inclusion

The task of the region and the municipality is to promote the opportunities residents have to participate in and influence the activities of the region or municipality. Client inclusion usually refers to the involvement of service users in the planning, development, production and evaluation of services more extensively than they use services. It is assumed that when clients participate in the development of services, the result will be services of a higher quality that better meet clients’ needs.

Inclusion in the labour market 

Everyone has the right to work.  Work is an essential part of human identity, welfare and inclusion in society. Promoting inclusion in working life means promoting an individual's employability, rehabilitation for the labour market and their participation as well as their ability to influence the functioning of the labour market. The general objective is to promote and support employment, a person’s return to work and their continued employment.

Work ability programme

Inclusion programmes

More and more Finnish municipalities have specified the promotion of inclusion as an official objective. Many municipalities have recorded their objectives in a separate inclusion programme or plan.