Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson (Swed. People’s Party) has ordered a thorough investigation into circumstances surrounding the death in May of an 8-year-old Helsinki girl (see links below). The girl’s mother and stepfather have been charged with murder in the case.
The investigation is to be carried out by an impartial team of investigators. Henriksson says that the actions of people and officials involved in the matter need to be investigated.
The Finnish government is entitled to order investigations on serious events which have lead to deaths, or in which the basic functions of society were under threat. In recent years similar investigations have been ordered into school shootings.
Several other investigations are underway over the same case.
Police are investigating whether or not social welfare officials have violated their official duties, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has set up a working group to find out how the law on child protection and child welfare practices worked in the case, and how legislation should be changed.
In addition, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (VALVIRA) is investigating the case along with the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland, and the City of Helsinki has also produced an internal report on the matter.
Minister of Justice Henriksson says that Finland should seriously consider passing legislation that is similar to that in Sweden, where the law requires an investigation into the actions of officials whenever a child has died as the result of a crime.
The legislation, referred to as Lex Bobby, was passed in 2006 after a mentally disabled boy by the name of Bobby died as the result of torture by his mother and stepfather.