The Global Risks Report of the World Economic Forum includes extreme weather and climate action failure, infectious diseases and digital inequality in the list of world’s greatest threats in 2021. These issues also directly impact occupational safety and health (OSH).
Law-drafting is a multi-stage process, which requires a wide range of professional competences and cooperation between multiple instances. In the Covid-19 situation, this work has been performed across ministries and in cooperation with agencies and research institution experts as well as practical actors.
For over six months, the COVID-19 epidemic has put an unprecedented strain on people’s mental coping and wellbeing. It is important that those who feel anxious or worried seek help in these exceptional times. Sometimes it takes courage to seek help, and it is fortunate that many have been brave enough to reach out and ask for help.
The Social Security Committee, which started work in spring 2020, will first determine which social security problems it will seek to solve. Before the summer holidays, the Committee outlined four sets of key social security problems: 1) the complexity of social security; 2) combining employment and social security; 3) minimum social security, basic social security and housing; and 4) coordination of services and benefits.
The coronavirus outbreak in spring has changed everyday routines. After the initial shock, some people are even better than before. For others, a possible new wave of the virus and their own future may be frightenining and a source of anxiety. Managing daily life may be difficult.
The recent public discussion on face masks has been lively and varied. Knowledge and scientific evidence have been used quite well, but also in a way that is too selective and prone to overinterpretation. Unfortunately, all too few have considered the matter relative to the epidemic situation in our country and the primary means to prevent infections.
In accordance with the principles of the Social Security Committee, all those involved in the Committee’s work must have at their disposal the same information about social security. This places the preparation and decision-making processes related to the reform on an equal footing. We want also other people to be able to monitor and assess the preparation and decision-making concerning the reform on the basis of the same information. This can only be achieved by means of a shared and open knowledge base.
I have launched a reform of the Act on Social Assistance and appointed a working group to carry it out. Now is the right time for reform. We have been gathering experiences from the transfer of basic social assistance to the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) over the past few years. In doing so, we have found several areas that need fixing.
Fundamental and human rights have attracted attention like never before because of the decisions made in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Restrictions on movement and assembly, among others, have been imposed. Human rights issues are not, and should not, be themes that gain relevance during crises; they deserve our full-time attention and dedication.
The Social Security Committee has started its work by mapping problems associated with social security. The Committee’s parliamentary members have been asked to provide their initial views on the main social security problems that the Committee should seek to solve. Thus, we are not trying to solve the problems yet, but to define the problems to be solved.
The COVID-19 epidemic has shown us in practice how important the rights of children are under emergency conditions. Over the past few months, the rights of children have been considerably restricted around the world. Restrictions have been placed on education, social relations and physical activities. At the same time, the rights of children to security, basic care, play and leisure time have also been reduced in practice.
The economy is in crisis. Wellbeing is unevenly distributed and not everyone has equal opportunities in society. We are concerned about the state of the environment. The world of work is changing, and ageing of population will change the demographic structure. Now, if ever, is the time to talk about wellbeing broadly.
Finland’s COVID-19 testing strategy is based on the principle of test – trace contacts – and treat. This strategy was adopted for tracing infections at the start of the epidemic. At the same time, our central aim has been to increase the testing capacity.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for ensuring that Finland is prepared for both unexpected and gradually emerging situations that affect, or may affect, healthcare and social welfare services one way or another.
mental health is capital of individuals, families, communities and society, and mental care should be taken care of and invested in. This also applies to working life, as the mental health of the population affects the productivity of working life and employment as a whole.
Now people need to wait weeks to see a doctor. Clients are lost in a jungle of services when trying to find the right service. These stories have been repeated in the news for too long. It is time to complete the health and social services reform.
The 70th Session of the Nordic Council starts this week in Oslo and its agenda includes various topics, such as culture, environment, sustainable development, international cooperation, and other matters relating to the current challenges facing our welfare states.
In December last year, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä announced the recipient of the International Gender Equality Prize. The prize goes to Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in recognition of her career and her commitment to women and girls globally.
Early childhood is full of new things, of joy, confusion, fatigue, and love. Family leaves are fathers’ right. They offer an opportunity to fathers to share everyday life with their children. It is important to use this opportunity as a man grows into fatherhood in interaction with his child.
In May 2017, a two-day event focusing on gender equality was organised for Roma women and men as part of the project Building a Roma Platform financed by the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the EU.
Finland has made much progress in gender equality work. Our long history in promoting women's rights goes back to 1906 when Finland became the first country in the world to grant women full political rights.
Health technology could be the engine of new growth in Finland. The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes and IBM have concluded a collaboration agreement on developing a digital health and wellbeing ecosystem in Finland.