Hearing children as experts in parliament


The Education and Culture Committee of the Finnish Parliament piloted the hearing of children as part of its work in spring 2021.

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Finnish Parliament

Collective Participation
Age range of target people
9-12 years
13-15 years
16-18 years
Characteristics of children and groups
Not specified

The preparation of the model for expert consultations with children was launched at the request of members of the Education and Culture Committee in early 2021. The aim was to develop consultations with comprehensive school-age children in particular.


The expert consultation model for comprehensive school-age children comprises five (5) phases:

  • Phase 1: Launch of consultation (informal preparation)
  • Phase 2: Formalisation. The committee sends an official invitation to the school. In addition to the topic to be discussed, the invitation sets out more specific questions. A committee brochure is attached.
  • Phase 3: Preparing for consultation
  • Phase 4: Consultation 
  • Phase 5: closure of consultation and follow-up measures
Next Steps

Hearing children serves the children's right to participate and may lead to a desire to influence society.


Comments on the piloting of the operating model:

  • In the consultation situation, it is important to ensure that everyone was able to express their thoughts in a safe atmosphere.
  • When selecting the groups to be heard, it is important to enable the hearing of different views.
  • Selecting the age group is an essential part of the consultation process. Young children, too, should be asked about matters that concern them in a suitable way and in a positive atmosphere.
  • The five-stage consultation process model during the month worked well. Most thought the length of the lesson (approx. 60/75 minutes) was appropriate.
  • In terms of content, it is essential to find issues and processing methods that appeal to and interest children.

The model of expert consultation for children was considered important in the preliminary discussions of all parties involved, and it should also be utilised in the future.

Modes of participation
Phases in cycle of participation
Investigating Children's Views
Skills trained
Countries this was based/targetted
Profile of target group
Not specified
Target group's degree of knowledge