A total of 11,581 Finns and 41 organisations are petitioning the Finnish Government to raise its refugee quota. The petition was submitted to Minister of the Interior Paula Risikko on Wednesday, 16 August.
“I would like to thank everyone who signed the petition for their support. This support is needed not only here, but especially in refugee camps, where the need for aid is now greater than ever before,” said Minister of the Interior Risikko.
Whether the petition passes will be determined in the Government budget session in late August. Finland temporarily raised its annual refugee quota to 1,050 persons three years ago, but last year lowered it back to 750 persons, the same level it has been since 2003. In the meantime, the number of people forced to flee their countries due to persecution or human rights violations has increased from 17.1 million to 65.6 million. Similarly, the number of international refugees living primarily in refugee camps has more than doubled, from 9.7 million to 21.3 million.
The refugee quota is used to help those who are most vulnerable: women who have suffered violence, single mothers, children, the disabled and victims of torture. In recent years, approximately half of Finland’s quota refugees have been children. According to the UN, currently only one per cent of refugees in need of relocation are able to successfully relocate to a safe country.
Join the discussion on the topic on social media using the hashtag #WeCare.
Campaign participants: Amnesty International Finland, the Finnish Red Cross, the Finnish Refugee Council, the Refugee Advice Centre, Save the Children, the Finnish Ecumenical Council, the bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Finnish League for Human Rights, Finn Church Aid, Plan International Finland, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, the Family Federation of Finland, the Finnish Committee for UNICEF, the UN Association of Finland, the Feminist Association Unioni, the Central Union for Child Welfare, the Finnish Somali League, MONIKA – Multicultural Women’s Association, the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters, the SOS Children’s Villages, the Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration (ETMU), Raster, the Free Movement Network, the Finland National Committee for UN Women, Emmaus Finland, Kehys, The Finnish Association for Mental Health, the Threshold Association, Disability Partnership Finland, Seta, the International Solidarity Foundation, Emmaus-Westervik, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, the Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses, World vision Finland, Operation a Day’s Work Finland, Frikyrklig Samverkan, Changemaker, the Swallows of Finland, Kehitysvammaliitto, Kalliola Youth association, Fairtrade Finland, Trasek.