Ten unaccompanied children and adolescent asylum seekers arrived in Finland from Greece on Friday 21 May, according to a press release by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri).
Since July 2020, Finland has received 169 asylum seekers, which means that the relocations of refugees from the Mediterranean region "are almost completed."
Migri explained in the release that 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.
According to a decision made by the Finnish Government in February 2020, the Nordic country 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," says Migri.
Ten months of arrivals
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 4 from 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.
12 million in EU funds
Migri emphasizes that special attention has been paid to the coronavirus situation when organizing relocations.
The Finnish Immigration Service has received 12 million euros 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.