The Nordic Council of Ministers work with children and young people

Børn i skolegård
Yadid Levy /
The Nordic Council of Ministers’ vision for its work with and for children and young people is that the Nordic Region should be the best place in the world to grow up, which goes hand in hand with the overall vision for Nordic co-operation adopted by the Ministers for Co-operation (MR-SAM): Together we are stronger and can create a borderless, innovative, visible and outward-looking Region.

The Nordic Committee for Children and Young People (NORDBUK) is the council of ministers’ advisory and co-ordinating body for matters relating to children and young people. NORDBUK operates in all of the Council of Ministers’ sectors. Find out more about NORDBUK:

Strategy for children and young people

Based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Nordic Council of Ministers seeks to protect and promote the rights of children and young people and to provide opportunities for them to exercise these rights and participate in society. This means that all children and young people in the Nordic Region must have the right to a decent standard of living and to exert influence on their lives, regardless of their sex, gender identity or expression, ethnic background, religion or other expression of faith, disability, sexual orientation or age. All children and young people have the right to social and financial security, to good physical and mental health, to recreational and cultural opportunities, to their own identity and language and to opportunities to learn and develop. All children and young people must be given the chance to exert influence on their own lives, their immediate environment and society at large.

In 2016, the ministers for co-operation adopted the strategy Children and Young People in the Nordic Region – a cross-sectoral strategy for the Nordic Council of Ministers 2016–2024.

The overall goals were that (1) the whole Council of Ministers would do more to integrate a children’s rights and youth perspective into its work in order to provide more space for and take greater account of children’s and young people’s own voices, and (2) the Council of Ministers would focus more closely on the three strategic priorities the strategy identified as key to this work up until 2022.

Those priorities were:

  • enhanced support and inclusion for disadvantaged children and young people
  • continued collaboration with and support from civil society
  • improved knowledge sharing and efforts to enhance competencies.

Read the overall strategy (Scandinavian only):

Nordic Council of Ministers’ Action Plan for Vision 2030

The work on the strategy for children and young people in the Nordic Region is designed to help implement Action Plan 2021–2024 and its 12 focus areas, in particular number 9: The Nordic Council of Ministers must contribute to good, equal and secure health and welfare for all; and number 11:  give Nordic civil society, especially children and young people, a louder voice and greater participation in Nordic co-operation, as well as increase their knowledge of the languages and cultures of neighbouring countries. Work on the strategy must also promote the implementation of the overall policy to integrate the intersectoral perspectives relating to sustainable development, gender equality and the children and young people.