The Office of the Ombudsman for Children

The Ombudsman for Children in Iceland is appointed by the Prime Minister for a period of five years. In his/her work, the Ombudsman for Children is independent and not subject to instructions. 

What is the role of the Ombudsman for Children? 

The role of the Ombudsman for Children is to guard and promote the interests, rights and needs of all children under the age of 18 in the Icelandic society.

The Ombudsman for Children works towards ensuring that all public authorities, individuals, and associations fully consider the interests, needs and rights of children. The Ombudsman for Children shall make proposals for necessary improvements in all matters concerning children. To that end, the Ombudsman can require any information from the authorities and has free access to all institutions for children whether publicly run or run by private parties. The Ombudsman can put forward observations and instructions to any party, pointing out needs for improvements.

Who can contact the Ombudsman for Children?

Anyone can contact the Ombudsman for Children, but enquiries from children are prioritized. The Ombudsman does not deal with disputes between individuals, such as disputes between parents or legal guardians of children. Nor does the Ombudsman for Children handle cases of individual children which according to the legislation, should be dealt with by other institutions or authorities. The Ombudsman can however provide guidance on the available measures and which authority to turn to. 

The Advisory Group for children

In all the work of the Ombudsman for children there is an emphasis on the views and experiences of children. The Ombudsman operates an advisory group for children aged between 12 and 17 on all matters concerning children in the Icelandic society. The Advisory Group was established in 2009 and a large number of children has been involved in the work of the group on the rights and interests of children. The Ombudsman intends to strengthen the work of the group and to ensure that the advisors have a diverse background and experiences.

If you are aged between 12 and 17 and are interested in joining the Advisory Group, please send us an email to radgjafarhopur@ub.is or call us at 800-5999. You can also contact us 

The Children´s Forum

With recent amendments to the Act on the Ombudsman for Children, the Ombudsman was given the task of organizing a Children´s Forum every other year. The purpose is to empower children and strengthen their participation in a democratic discussion on matters which concern them and to ensure their influence on policy and decision making.

The first Children´s Forum was held in November 2019 and the 150 children participating were chosen through a random selection from the national registry and came from all over the country. During the forum, the children discussed matters of their own choice, with each other, as well as with Ministers, Members of Parliament, and representatives from, among others, the labour market and NGOs. At the end of the Forum the proposals of the children on many and varied topics, were presented to the Government, and the Ombudsman is now working on presenting and promoting those proposals. The next Children´s Forum will be held in 2021. 

Further information on the Children's Forum (in icelandic)

Contact information:

THE OMBUDSMAN FOR CHILDREN 


TEL: (354) 552 8999, FAX: (354) 552 8966. CALL TOLL FREE: (354) 800 5999
E-mail: ub@barn.is Website: www.barn.is

Kringlan 1, 5th floor, 103 Reykjavík

 

The Office of the Ombudsman for Children is open on Monday - Tuesday between 9.00 and 15.00 hours and on Friday between 09.00 - 12:00 hours.  After opening hours, messages are recorded on an answering machine.


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