The Finnish Red Cross continues to close down reception units. The reception centres of Kitee and Kotka will be closed at the end of June, in accordance with the plans of the Finnish Immigration Service. Starting from July 2018, 21 reception units for adults and families and three units for children maintained by the Red Cross will remain. These have a total of 3,500 residents.
Based on a report made by the Finnish Immigration Service, decisions on asylum applications largely meet the criteria laid down in the law. Deficiencies in the quality of interpretation of asylum interviews and processing of asylum applications were, however, detected. It is likely that the number of deficiencies became bigger than normal following a sudden tenfold increase in asylum seekers in 2015 and a need to quickly increase the amount of human resources required for the process.
Refugees and asylum seekers forced to leave their homes are often found without paperwork, posing problems for them and for legal authorities in proving their very existence.
Without paperwork, it's impossible to prove your date of birth, open a bank account, access government services, and even get a legal job. Blockchain technology offers an interesting solution here - being able to track an identity on a ledger via a unique, immutable and independently verified record provides new opportunities to tackle this problem.
Helsinki – Many health and social workers struggle to identify victims of trafficking, surveys show. The UN Migration Agency (IOM) office in Finland released practical guidelines for the identification and referral of trafficking victims on Tuesday (23/01).
Upon publication, the new guidelines received praise from the country’s Minister of the Interior, Paula Risikko, who said these guidelines should be included in the curricula used to educate nurses, doctors, police officers, border guards and social workers.
Large-scale power outages in the beginning of January demonstrated the strength of the Red Cross volunteers’ aid in Kainuu. The situation was worst in Suomussalmi and Hyrynsalmi.
Juha Hankkila from Hyrynsalmi has been volunteering with the Red Cross for two years. When a power grid failure caused problems in the local community, volunteers were ready to act.
Ali Ihsan became a Finnish Red Cross volunteer when he was still living at the reception centre. Helping has become an important part of his life.
When Ali Ihsan came to Finland as an asylum seeker, he was impressed by the Finnish Red Cross volunteers he saw working at the reception centre.
– These people, with their work and families, came there to help us without pay. It was amazing, describes Ihsan, 29.
On 20 December, the Ministry of the Interior confirmed the decision of the ministerial working group on migration concerning the allocation of the refugee quota of 750 people for 2018.
Finland is committed to receive Syrian refugees from Turkey and Congolese refugees from Zambia in the 2018 quota. As a result of the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria, millions of people have been forced to leave their homes. About 33,000 Congolese refugees have fled to Zambia because of long-standing violence. Most of these refugees are women and children.
The autumn of 2015 was a challenging time for the Red Cross workers and volunteers. Emergency accommodations for asylum seekers had to be established at a few hours’ notice, and there could be as many as three reception units set up in one day. How does the Finnish Red Cross assess the past two years?
Finland’s migration report to OECD provides an overview of migration 2016–2017
A new national migration report — International Migration 2016–2017, Report for Finland — has been published and submitted to the OECD. The report provides a concise summary of migration policy guidelines, key legislative amendments and up-to-date statistics.
The new migration report provides a comprehensive overview of how migration policy and the migration situation have evolved in Finland in 2016–2017.
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.
The window blinds have been lowered. No one needs to know whether someone is home in the flat. The two-room flat in Pori houses a varying number of men whose application for asylum was rejected.
One of them is Ali*, a 29-year-old telecommunications engineer from Baghdad.
“When you don’t have the necessary documents in Finland, you don’t have a future. I haven’t come up with a good solution for my situation. There are only bad options available to me.”
The Government of Finland directs an additional sum of EUR 20 million for the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing countries. The funding was announced by Kai Mykkänen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, at the She Decides conference organised in Brussels.
A working group at the Ministry of Education and Culture proposes over 40 new measures to respond to the education needs created by the growth in the number of asylum seekers and immigrants. The final report of the working group was submitted to Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.
The working group is concerned that pupils and students with an immigrant background have poorer learning outcomes than their peers in the original population and suggests further studies on the matter.
By Jonathan Fowler
HELSINKI, 3 October 2016 – The Finnish arm of an international grouping working to ward off biological and health threats such as Ebola and the Zika virus has won a pan-European award that recognises innovative approaches to reducing disaster risk.
The Finnish Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) team received the Damir Čemerin Award at the opening in Helsinki of the three-day European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Greece - IOM helped two groups of asylum seekers to leave Greece for Finland this week under the European Union (EU)’s ongoing relocation programme. Of the 82 people relocated, 11 were unaccompanied children.
On Monday (29/08), 42 people were relocated from Greece to Finland. The group comprised 36 Syrians, six stateless individuals and one unaccompanied child. Today, a group of 38 Syrians, one Iraqi and one Eritrean are traveling from Athens to Helsinki. There are 10 unaccompanied children among them.
After difficult journeys to Europe, young asylum seekers start new lives with the help of SOS Finland
The European Commission has granted Finland EUR 8 million in emergency funding for the reception of asylum seekers between 1 September 2015 and 31 January 2016. This assistance is allocated for the Tornio registration centre and eight reception centres in Lapland.
Finland applied for emergency funding under the EU's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) in October. These resources are used to cover financial needs that could not be incorporated in national funding and, thus, to respond to the cost pressures created by the migration situation.
Positive discussions are ongoing between Finland and Iraq concerning the return of Iraqis whose application for asylum in Finland has been refused or who have cancelled their application. Both countries would like to step up cooperation on voluntary return, in particular.
Finland has two goals in these discussions: firstly, to ensure as smooth and effective administrative return procedure as possible for those returning to Iraq voluntarily; and secondly, in the future, to also enable the return of those who are removed from Finland but do not want to return to Iraq voluntarily.
9 December 2015 – On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Finland's membership to the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the country on its leadership in advancing the Organization's work on peace and security, development and human rights, and expressed his gratitude for the country's solidarity with refugees in the region.
Finland will contribute EUR 300,000 in 2015–2017 to the Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), implemented by the UN Children's Fund UNICEF and the UN Population Fund UNFPA. The joint programme aims to prevent the practice of cutting girls' and women's genitalia.