What does the organization do?
The Finnish Refugee Council (Suomen Pakolaisapu) is Finland’s largest expert organization specializing in the issues of displacement and migration. Each year they support thousands of people in recovering from conflicts and integrating into new societies. For over 50 years their work has positively impacted lives in Finland, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
How does the process look like?
The Finnish government determines how many refugees are allowed into the country each year. This is an estimated 850 to 1050 refugees per year (because of COVID-19 this number has been much lower, and approximately only 300 people have arrived in Finland in the last couple of months) The government also makes the choices in which regions to admit refugees and of which nationalities.
After these choices have been made, people in refugee camps (these camps can be located for example in Lebanon, Turkey, or Jordan) are interviewed by UNHCR (United Nations Commission on Human Rights) who will also make final decisions about the persons they believe they live in the most critical situations and who need the most help at the moment.
After they have made these choices paperwork will be sent to the Finnish Immigration Service (migri). The Finnish Immigration Service makes the final decision on the individuals together with the Center for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY), and the Finnish Security and Intelligence service (Suojelupoliisi).
The flights will be arranged and in Finland, there will be various organizations waiting for accompanying and helping the people in their new life, including the Finnish Refugee Council (Suomen Pakolaisapu)
Transport is arranged to their new homes, courses are organized where they will learn about the new culture they will be living in, the language, education, and work possibilities, and help is given with applying for possible income supports options.