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Relocations of asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region are soon completed

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On Friday 21 May 2021, Finland received a group of underage asylum seekers from Greece, when ten unaccompanied children and adolescents arrived in Finland. Since July 2020, Finland has received 169 asylum seekers, which means that the relocations are almost completed.

According to a decision made by the Finnish Government on 27 February 2020, Finland will receive 175 vulnerable asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region. Finland is receiving primarily unaccompanied children and adolescents as well as single-parent families. The aim of the relocations is to relieve the strained situation for reception of asylum seekers in the countries in the Mediterranean region.

During a ten-month period, 108 unaccompanied children and adolescents have arrived in Finland from Greece and 14 from Cyprus. In addition, 27 asylum seekers belonging to single-parent families have arrived in Finland from Malta, 16 from Cyprus and four from Italy. The majority of the asylum seekers who have been relocated to Finland are Afghan or Somalian citizens. The minors who have arrived in Finland are boys and girls aged 0–17.

A few more asylum seekers will still be arriving in Finland from Greece, Malta and Italy.

“Relocations are a way of helping people in a vulnerable position. All asylum seekers who have been relocated to Finland either come from a country where the security situation is poor or are very likely in need of international protection,” says Project Manager Camilla Rautala.

Around 100 asylum seekers who have arrived from the Mediterranean region have received a decision on their asylum applications. Approximately 75 of them already live in municipalities.

Special attention to coronavirus in the relocation arrangements

Special attention has been given to the coronavirus situation in arranging the relocations. Before a relocation, each asylum seeker undergoes a health examination that includes coronavirus testing. Everyone also undergoes a second health examination after their arrival in Finland. Before being transferred to centres specially intended for minors, the asylum seekers will spend 14 days in quarantine-like circumstances in conditions similar to those of an ordinary group home.

The Finnish Immigration Service has received EUR 12 million in EU funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) for receiving asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region. The funding is used to cover the reception costs, as well as other costs.

Facts: Asylum applications are processed normally

  • The asylum process begins when the asylum seeker has arrived in Finland. The asylum seeker’s application is processed in the same way as those of other asylum seekers. The only exception is that the Dublin procedure is not applied again, because Finland is the country responsible for processing the application.
  • The applicant’s need for international protection is assessed through an individual procedure including an asylum interview. If the asylum seeker is a minor, he or she will be appointed a representative. The representative will be present at the asylum interview.

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Contacts

Camilla Rautala, Relocation Project Manager, email: firstname.lastname@migri.fi, tel. 0295 433 388

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The Finnish Immigration Service is a decision-making organisation in matters related to immigration, asylum, refugee status and citizenship and maintains the reception system.

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