Skip to content

Round table discusses inclusion and leisure activities of multilingual young people

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 19.6.2024 15.31 | Published in English on 26.6.2024 at 9.47
News item

Minister of Youth, Sport and Physical Activity Sandra Bergqvist and representatives of cities, various organisations and young people met at a round table event on Wednesday 19 June to discuss the inclusion and leisure activities of multilingual young people. The aim of the event was to find concrete measures to increase multilingual young people’s inclusion and opportunities for leisure activities.

In preparation for the Minister’s round table, the themes were discussed on the Digiraati platform on 6–14 May. Professionals working with young people participated in the discussions. The participants issued a final statement highlighting five concrete themes that different participants in society should jointly address. The round table discussion focused on deepening these themes.

The five major themes were tackling racism and discrimination across society, introducing measures to include young people and give them power and responsibility, high-quality communications and diverse communications channels, the skills needed to encounter other people, and the development of activities for girls.

The round table emphasised the role of education in promoting young people’s inclusion and anti-racism across various administrative branches, organisations and levels of society. Particular attention should be paid to professionals working with young people. 

The discussions strongly underlined adults’ responsibility to intervene when they see, experience or hear of racism in everyday contexts. Participants also noted a need to develop a simple method for dealing with racist incidents. 

Minister Bergqvist: “It is important that all adults have the tools to immediately intervene in racist incidents. I intend to submit this proposal to the Government so that both members of the Government and Members of Parliament will be able to increase their knowledge on this theme.”

The round table discussions will continue next year with the aim to examine how young people’s inclusion and opportunities for leisure activities have been promoted based on the final statement of the Digiraati participants. 

Minister Bergqvist will organise a discussion forum that the round table participants and representatives of the media will be invited to join. The forum is to focus on public debate and the media’s role in it. According to Bergqvist, both the media and politicians are responsible for eradicating racism.

On 31 August 2023, the Government issued a statement on measures to promote equality, gender equality and non-discrimination purposefully and extensively in Finnish society. Minister Bergqvist’s round table discussion was organised as part of the implementation of the government equality statement. Equality in working life was the topic of a round table discussion led by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.

Support for multicultural camp activities 

Minister Bergqvist has granted EUR 30,000 in additional funding to the Finnish camp school association Leirikouluyhdistys for the development project to promote immigrant young people’s inclusion and participation in leisure activities. The multicultural camps organised by the project aim to increase the wellbeing and inclusion of participants.

In camps, young people participate in rewarding, pedagogical activities that improve their knowledge of Finnish culture and language and support their integration in Finnish society. Based on the outcomes and experiences from the project, a method will be developed for the use of the Finnish camp school association’s 40 member associations that organise camp activities.

Rosanna Blomster, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 295 330 337

Supporting the inclusion of young people with immigrant backgrounds. Final statement by Digiraati (in Finnish)