|Special group councils||Graphical version|
Councils commonly found around the country are councils for the disabled and the elderly. These councils facilitate the entry of issues important for special groups to the decision-making agenda.
They provide a cooperation forum for government representatives, NGOs of people with disabilities, disabled persons and their families. Councils on disability have been involved in the creation of municipal policies such as Disability Action Plans.
The National Council on Disability is a cooperative organ for public authorities, disabled persons, their families and organisations. Its work includes planning, development and implementation of public policies in issues affecting the living conditions and wellbeing of disabled people. It operates in connection with the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Councils for the elderly are permanent cooperation bodies for elderly people, municipal government, NGOs for the elderly and retired people and others working in the field. Finnish municipalities can choose whether or not they will set up a council for the elderly.
Key activities of these councils include submitting initiatives and proposals. They also provide their opinion on issues related to the elderly and their living conditions and monitor activities of different administrative branches from the perspective of the elderly.
Councils for the elderly are advisory cooperation bodies without independent decision-making powers. In most municipalities the council is appointed by the municipal executive board as a result of an initiative by the municipal council. Most are appointed for two or four years at a time.
Updated on October 12, 2006