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Youth Ombudsman making the municipality of Linköping a vibrant place for young people

Linköping

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.


citizens' democracy
participation
cooperation

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

young ombudsmen
City of Linköping

Target group of the Good Practice

young ombudsmen

Funding of the Good Practice

City of Linköping

More Details of the Good Practice

Available files

Contact details

Anna Bjärkmar
Municipality of Linköping

Data sources and references

Baltic Cities Environmental Bulletin 2/2010