Children and digitalisation

Elisa’s mission is a sustainable future through digitalisation. At Elisa, we want children to be able to live in sustainable world – now and in the future.

The digital world has expanded alongside the physical world and is an increasingly important operating environment, especially for children and young people. Children and young people use digital services fluently and meet their friends online. Their digital skills are often much better than their parents’ skills. On the other hand, parents may worry about online content that may be harmful to their kids.

 Digitalisation brings with it many benefits for children, such as high-quality and inclusive education, virtual remote learning and access to information, but it is worth recognising the risks that exist on the internet. Harmful content or fake news, sexual abuse of children via the internet, cyberbullying and online violence can threaten children’s  health and safety and violate their human rights. Not all children have access to the internet and digital content, either.

Diversity and digital inclusion of children and young people in a safe digital environment are important to Elisa, and we promote safe digitalisation in our own operations, in our collaboration with our partners, through the services we offer and in our social projects.

Elisa's own operations are based on our values, mission and guidelines, policies and guidelines. We are committed to the principles of the UN Global Compact, and we also follow Unicef's Children's Rights and Business Principles guidelines in our work.

Young people need help with smarter use of smart devices

Elisa and the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare conducted a survey on media use among Finnish young people at the end of 2023. More than 3,600  responded to the survey and the responses clearly showed that a large proportion (35%) would like to use smart devices less but are unable to. 22% of young people do not feel that their parents are interested in their online use. Young people hope for help and understanding from their loved ones and teachers, as well as concrete actions from service providers to eradicate bullying on social media, for example. 

Elisa has worked with the digital well-being of children and young people for years. In recent years, the focus has been especially on online safety, as our digital security schools have visited different parts of Finland. Video versions of the schools were also implemented in 2023. 

We take the survey responses and the message from young people seriously, and want to help young people master the use of smart devices even more in the future. 

Working at Elisa

Elisa complies with laws and agreements, common values, principles and processes, supplemented by policies and instructions.

Elisa supports families and parents in many ways, for example with the help of a flexible working culture that gives Elisa employees the opportunity to work remotely, regardless of location.

Elisa's child-friendly working culture can be seen in many different ways, for example, in Finland:

• Supporting parents and caregivers when their child is ill by giving them the opportunity to take time off to care for their child

• Supporting families by extending Elisa’s occupational health cover to include specific medical services for children

• Where appropriate and possible, organising work tasks in a flexible way, taking the child's best interests into account

• Offering parents parental leave with partial pay

• Offering Elisa employees the possibility of family care leave to arrange personal help or support for a close relative

Parental leave includes, for example, the following things in Finland:

• Families can take a total of 320 working days of parental leave. If the child has two parents, this leave is divided equally between the parents, i.e. both have 160 weekdays available.

• Pregnant employees receive an additional 40 days of pregnancy allowance before going on parental leave.

• Employees can agree to transfer up to 63 working days of their parental leave to the other parent.

• Parental leave can also be taken part-time, by agreement.

• Parental leave can be allocated flexibly until the child turns two years old and childcare leave until the child turns three.

• Partial care leave (reduced weekly working hours) can be taken even until the end of the child’s second year at school.

Occupational health care services are available to employees during the entire period of family leave.

At Elisa, we also offer work experience positions so that schoolchildren can get to know working life at safe locations, and we support students in implementing interesting thesis and dissertation topics. We also want our employees’ children to be able to get to know their parents' workplace by arranging Bring Your Child to Work Day on World Children’s Day.

We do not accept forced labour or child labour in any form. We cooperate with our suppliers  to ensure that no child labour exists in our supply chain.

Elisa services

For us at Elisa, it is important that everyone can use digital services and be safe in digital environments.

Elisa ensures a safe operating environment and the availability of services in accordance with laws, its own principles and guidelines. Elisa also provides security services to its customers.

We conduct consumer surveys, which help us gain additional information about the needs of families with children. For example, we investigated parents' concerns regarding children's use of the internet, and now we offer tips on safely using devices, based on the results of our study.

Elisa's services are designed on the principles of universal design (a.k.a. design for all), where our services are designed for everyone, including families with children. We also require that people acquiring our services must be adults.

Choosing a suitable and safe product for a child can be difficult ,and we offer different options, such as childrens´ wrist watch phone. Read more about children’s wrist watch phones (in Finnish). In addition, for every children's watch phone sold, we will contribute EUR 5 to MLL's Children and Young People's Phone and Chat. More information for families (in Finnish).

We develop features in our products that promote user safety. For example, we offer tracking or positioning services for children's phones in case they get lost. By setting up safe zones, parents can receive a message if their child leaves the safe zone.

With a separate SOS button, children can quickly connect with an adult and send their location at the same time. Parents and caregivers can also control who their children can call or message.

With instructions and tips for caregivers, we share useful information about products and services suitable for children as well how to protect children’s safety online. Our streaming video service Elisa Viihde Viaplay also has a channel for children’s programmes.

OmaElisa features self-service tools that let the adult subscription owner can block e.g. marketing communication or premium-rate service numbers. It is always a good idea to teach children how to use their phone safely and agree on the rules.

We comply with laws, industry rules and best practices in our operations, and we do not market or send messages without permission. Marketing in the industry is supervised and instructed by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority.

The confidentiality and protection of privacy of customer data, personal data and communications is essential in all our operations. We take data protection seriously, and we make sure that the information in our care remains protected and safe. We do not sell or share customer or contact information with external parties without permission. We also never use individual customers’ location or device information for marketing purposes.

Elisa in the society

Through a variety of campaigns and projects, we strive to increase children's and young people's understanding of issues like responsibility, such as the importance of non-discrimination.

We have been implementing digital schools for several years. In Elisa's digital security schools, children learn useful digital and cybersecurity skills. Children can learn basic digital safety skills and earn a “digital driver's licence” <link: https://elisa.fi/ajokortti/ in Finnish>.

We also ask for suggestions from children and young people to develop Elisa's own activities. For example, during Elisa's Energy Week, the theme was "Let the children speak", where children shared their thoughts on what kind of environmental action Elisa could take.

In our carbon emission compensation projects, we seek opportunities to, in addition to climate change mitigation, improve the conditions of local communities, families and their children.

We create opportunities for children through the ShedHelsinki Foundation, established by Elisa. The foundation supports diversity and inclusivity for children and young people, taking children with special needs into account. Together with communities and partners that help children and young people, it produces creative performance opportunities and events such as musicals.

We also cooperate with foundations, organisations and associations that help children and young people. Elisians have been involved in the Nose Day charity event for several years, with various donations to children through the Hope association in Finland and through UNICEF.

Elisa is helping people who are in need are a result of the war in Ukraine in many ways. We have made a donation of EUR 50,000 to UNICEF, which is helping Ukrainian children to survive in the midst of the crisis. 

Elisa also cooperates with Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), helping to prevent the spread of material online identified by NBI that contains sexual exploitation and violence against children. We also collaborate with the Finnish Federation for Communications and Teleinformatics  (FiCom) and its member organisations.