International and comparative child protection research is in great demand in China, as the country continues to develop its child welfare policies and child protection practices.

The Sino-Finnish Center for Child Protection Research, led by Professor Zhao Fang, Director of the Department of Social Work in Fudan University, is well-placed to provide high-level expertise and experience needed to meet this increasing demand.

The Center is a joint project between Fudan University and the University of Eastern Finland, a member institution of the Finnish China Law Center.

The Center’s main goal is to promote interdisciplinary research and education in the fields of child welfare and child protection, says Associate Professor Suvianna Hakalehto.

A child law and education law scholar, Professor Hakalehto is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Center and one of her forthcoming projects with the Center concerns the position of migrant children in China.

The project will also involve Professor Juha Hämäläinen, also of the University of Eastern Finland, and Professor Yuan Ren, Deputy Director of the Institute of Population Research at the University of Fudan.

‘Contemporary Chinese welfare ideology and policies aim at negotiating and merging the traditional family concept and beliefs expressing a hundred years’ development and the modern civilization of late’, Professor Hakalehto says.

‘In research concerning the rights of children, and the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is important to pay attention to cultural aspects’.

‘For me, learning about the Chinese legal system and the country’s child protection paradigm has been personally enriching and professionally rewarding’, says Professor Hakalehto. ‘I hope to contribute to the Chinese discussion about the legal position of children’.

During her visit in October 2017 to the Center, Professor Hakalehto met Professor Lu Zhian, a Professor of Law at the Fudan University School of Law.

One of China’s leading scholars in the field, Professor Zhian invited Professor Hakalehto to Fudan University in 2018 to lecture on human rights in the school environment.


(Left to right) Professor Juha Hämäläinen, Professor Suvianna Hakalehto and Professor Lu Zhian

‘This is a great opportunity, and I look forward to another exciting visit to China and to learning more about the Chinese legal system and Chinese cultural generally’, Professor Hakalehto says.