[Estonia] Child welfare needs better analysis, finds Riigikogu-organized seminar

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02 Sep 2019
ERR News

The Riigikogu (the unicameral parliament of Estonia) and the Office of the Chancellor of Justice looked at Estonian children's welfare in a recent seminar called "Child Well-being Indicators: Current Situation in and Possibilities for Describing the Situation of Children,".

To prevent problems and support child development they drafted the below recommendations on child welfare to the UN Committee:

  • Both child-centered (i.e. with the child as an observation "unit") and child-based (with the child as an information source) data should be available;
  • Continuing to collect data from children themselves, including questions relating to economic and social well-being;
  • Create and publish a system of indicators reflecting the well-being of children;
  • Instead of aggregate data on children individual data should be available on different age groups.

Andra Reinomägi, adviser at the chancellor's office, said "It is important that we understand how children in Estonia live. Unfortunately, we have to admit that the assessment of the rights and well-being of children in Estonia is incomplete; relevant indicators are fragmented, and the age divisions of regular statistics often do not enable us to get an overview of 0–17 year-old children as a whole. The obstacles are the structure of data collections and also the absence of data".

"Up to now, economic success has primarily been emphasized in policy-shaping, and economic growth has been the aim. The new treatment, which we also follow in our human resources research path and which many countries already use, is the so-called 'beyond GDP' approach, where wider comprehension of the well-being of humans and social development of the country is important," said Foresight Center representative Mari Rell.

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