In Bed By 7.30pm: Town Approves Youth Curfew
The Finnish town of Laitila has introduced a curfew on its youth.
The town council approved the restrictions on school-aged children in the town -- of which there are about 900 -- after months of discussions.
For children aged between seven and 13, there is a curfew of 7.30pm.
Older teens are to be home by 9pm.
On weekends, they get a slight break from the rules, but restrictions of 8.30pm and 11pm, respectively, still apply.
The rules have been put in place to encourage children to spend more time with their families, reported Helsingin Sanomat.
“The primary purpose of the recommendation is to awaken parents to the well-being of children and young people and to celebrate the evening with the family together,” Tuomas Kankaanpää, Service Manager for Education said.
The mayor of Laitila, Johanna Luukkonen, said the recommendation was a "very fine thing".
“This demonstrates that we care about children and young people and invest in their well-being. Many parents have received feedback that it is easier to keep up with home when they are all the same and have been agreed upon," she said.
The restrictions have been met with criticism, and Kankaanpää said they are just a recommendation, as a legally enforced curfew would be a a human rights violation.
Other Finnish cities have tried to implement youth curfews, but have been unsuccessful.
Since 2004, towns such as Seinäjoki, Pori, Eurajoki, Rovaniemi, Laukaa, Hämeenkoski and Lammi have all tried to bring in curfews.
The inability for police to enforce curfews and for parents to take responsibility for their children have been cited as the reason for their defeat.
The curfew model follows a nationwide Icelandic rule that has been in place since 1997.
In Iceland, under 12s must be home by 8pm in the summer and 10pm in the winter, but exceptions are made for those returning from extracurricular activities or those travelling with their parents.
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