Youth Ombudsman making the municipality of Linköping a vibrant place for young people
Detailed description of the Good Practice
As the former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, ‘we cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.’ Through Linköping municipality, the ethos of Roosevelt’s words are being transposed into the youth policy of the city with the aim of making Linköping a vibrant place for young people, providing opportunities to help to build positive future for all of them.
One way to achieve it is through the role of the Youth Ombudsman; a position which only exists in a small number of cities across Sweden. Linköping city employs two young people, for a period of one year each, their role is to highlight issues that are important to young people and establish a platform for their voices to be heard.
Ombudsmen as intermediaries
The work of the ombudsmen is to provide young people with the means to access local authorities, acting as an informal link with the politicians. By creating a comfortable and approachable environment these ombudsmen are able to show young people of Linköping that the city hall is not out of touch with the issues of the youth. Every year the ombudsmen receive a large number of applications for various activities from different working groups. These activities are open to all. At present there are also a number of youth interest groups, which encourage young people to arrange concerts, exhibitions and workshops all financed by the participants themselves.
Examples of activities in progress in Linköping include special interest groups working with environmental issues as well as a permanent working group, which provides an easier access to school transport services. Recently a further group has been involved in providing social activities for young people living outside the city centre in the rural areas. The aim of the group is to inform about the opportunities which are available through the local authority. Also a network of the Youth Ombudsman, comprising of politicians, officials and young people, aims at providing foundations for cooperation and development of the democratic processes focusing on encouraging the participation of young people.
Objectives of the Good Practice
The aim of the group is to inform about the opportunities which are available through the local authority.
Participants of the Good Practice
City of Linköping
Target group of the Good Practice
Funding of the Good Practice
City of Linköping
More Details of the Good Practice
Municipality of Linköping
Data sources and references
Baltic Cities Environmental Bulletin 2/2010