Safety promotion

On this website, safety promotion refers to the activities of regions and municipalities which are aimed at coordinating safety work and, in particular, the prevention of accidents and violence in home and leisure environments.

The website deals with safety promotion from two different perspectives: preventing accidents among different age groups and preventing intimate partner violence and violence against children.

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Safety promotion is part of the promotion of well-being and health

Safety promotion is extensive, multidimensional and multidisciplinary cross-sectoral work. It is part of the promotion of well-being and health at the local and regional level.

The prevention of accidents and violence, as well as the promotion of safety at the broader level, is a joint concern of all actors and administrative branches at the municipal level and in the health and social services counties. Indeed, actors within each health and social services county are required to promote safety in cooperation with municipalities and other parties operating in their region.

In practice, safety work is carried out by a large number of experts and authorities, such as state and municipal authorities, professionals in different fields, and associations.

Safety can be promoted through measures such as

  • prevention of social exclusion, substance abuse and crime
  • social policy that promotes equality and prevents poverty 
  • employment promotion
  • safe residential and living environments.

Multidisciplinary work must ensure that safety can be achieved in an equal manner regardless of citizens’ socio-economic background.

As safety improves, we see a strengthening of people’s health, well-being and quality-of-life on the physical, mental and social level.

National objectives

A number of bodies work to promote safety at the national level.

The Government has laid the foundation for this work through its Internal Security Strategy (2017) and the Government Resolution on Promotion of wellbeing, health and safety 2030, which was published in summer 2020. The Safety at All Ages Target Programme for the Prevention of Home and Leisure Injuries 2021-2030 and the Non-Violent Childhood action plan 2020-2025 support the prevention of accidents and violence.

Internal Security Strategy

The Government's Internal Security Strategy is a road map that provides guidelines on how to make Finland the safest country in the world, in accordance with the vision of the Government Programme.

Creating and maintaining safety requires multidisciplinary collaboration within a trust-based society in which municipalities also have their part to play. Social policy decision-making impacts safety issues as well.

Internal Security Strategy (Ministry of the Interior website)

A Good Life – Everyday Safety. Government resolution on the Internal Security Strategy (SM 2017, in Finnish)

Promoting well-being, health and safety 2030 – Government resolution

All administrative branches must act towards achieving the objectives of the resolution. Such actions serve, for example, to reduce inequalities in well-being and health. The focus of activities is also shifting towards 

  • the promotion of well-being, health and safety
  • supporting work, study and functional capacity
  • to prevent problems developing.

The Advisory Board for Public Health is responsible for the implementation of the resolution.

Promotion of wellbeing, health and safety 2030 – government resolution 

Target programme for the Prevention of Home and Leisure Accidents

The Safety at All Ages Target Programme for the Prevention of Home and Leisure Injuries 2021–2030 and Report on the Costs of Injuries aims towards a society where no one needs to die or be injured as a result of an accident.

The programme includes 89 national measures that seek to prevent accidents and are to be implemented through multi-sectoral cooperation.

This target programme promotes the overall goal of making Finland the safest country in the world, a country where 

  • people can enjoy a society that is safe, equal and fair 
  • the competence and crisis resilience of individuals can be developed through cooperation
  • insecurity arising from multifaceted exclusion can be prevented.

Safely at All Ages: Programme for the Prevention of Home and Leisure Injuries 2021–2030. Publications of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2021:19. (Introduction, vision, targets and measures)

Non-violent childhoods action plan 

Violence causes physical and social harm to both individuals and society and also incurs economic costs. Violence incurs direct costs both in terms of loss of production and the treatment of injuries and harm suffered by the victim. Most of these costs are borne by municipalities.

The Non-Violent Childhoods action plan for the period 2020–2025 was launched in November 2019 and provides means for preventing violence and helping victims of violence. The cross-administrative plan includes national targets and 93 evidence-based measures to prevent violence against children aged between 0 and 17.

Non-Violent Childhoods: Action Plan for the Prevention of Violence against Children 2020–2025 (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2020)

The municipality as a safety promoter

Municipalities play a key role in promoting safety, as they are responsible for promoting the well-being, health and safety of residents.

Well-being, health and safety relate to many of the tasks performed by municipalities, such as

  • education
  • sport, catering and cultural services
  • land use planning
  • traffic arrangements. 

Safety promotion must be included in municipal welfare strategies, safety plans and welfare reports assessing the impacts of the set objectives and measures. They must include safety management and prevention of accidents and violence.

Proactive safety measures, such as ex-ante impact assessments and risk assessments, generate significant savings in municipal economic resources. The municipality should introduce evidence-based and effective practices that promote safety and prevent accidents and violence. The municipality should also integrate its well-being reports with its safety plans.

Preventing accidents and violence is everyone’s business 

In the promotion of comprehensive safety and security, the safety culture should extend into all the upbringing and operational environments of the municipality’s residents, including their home and leisure time.

Preventing accidents and violence is everyone’s business – it is the responsibility of individual citizens, professionals across different sectors, and government decision-makers.