Rights of placed children restricted without legal basis
An unannounced visit to the special child welfare unit Loikalan kartano on 23–24 October 2018 revealed several serious problems with the way that the children placed outside their homes were treated and the decisions concerning restrictive measures were made.
Deputy-Ombudsman Maija Sakslin found the rules restricting the right to self-determination of children and the related practices for severing social relationships applied at the institution owned by Pro Manors Oy to be legally unfounded, arbitrary and repressive to children.
The Deputy-Ombudsman was also forced to strictly remind the institution that restrictive measures always require case-by-case decisions and assessment of whether legal requirements are met. The place of foster care shall ensure that the legal requirements related to restrictive measures are met for each measure to be used. Restrictive measures may never be used as a means of punishment.
The visit report 5377/2018 is available in Finnish on the Ombudsman’s website, www.oikeusasiamies.fi.
For more information, please contact Principal Legal Adviser Tapio Räty, tel. +358 9 432 3379.