Welfare law focuses on the rights that have a connection to the well-being of an individual at all stages of the life cycle — from childhood to old age. In welfare law, for example, the researchers are interested in the different legal aspects of welfare services; how they are defined, organized, produced and supervised.
Welfare law is not a separate field of law; it refers to the entirety of legal research that focuses on the regulation of, for example, income support, social welfare and physical and mental health.
In the University of Eastern Finland the welfare-related legal research has focused in the Institute of Law and Welfare. The Institute, consisting of almost 20 researchers, is the field's major research and educational centerpoint in Finland. The researchers of the institute work currently in the following projects:
- MCI@work is an international research project focusing on the specific issues concerning people who develop dementia or mild cognitive impairment while still working.
- MeRela is a research project scrutinizing home-based palliative care of the elderly.
- A project of equality of social and health care professionals focuses on the gender equality in the health and social services reform.
- Fafo is an international social science research foundation that develops knowledge on the conditions and changes in working life, such as the effects of digitalization in the labour market.
- Artsequal project examines the arts as public service, with equality as the starting point, and explores how the arts can meet the social challenges of the 2020s.
- Art, Copyright and the Transformation of Authorship is a research project that focuses on the status and rights of the author in the contemporary art world, especially in literature and the visual arts.