Refugee reception manual

The purpose of the humanitarian immigration policy is to provide protection for those who have been forced to leave their homeland because of persecution or violent conflicts.

Finland has been receiving persons entitled to international protection (commonly known as refugees) for about forty years.  However, people coming to Finland have usually been motivated by work, studies or family reasons rather than humanitarian considerations.

Prolonged international conflicts and wars caused an increase in the number of asylum seekers in Finland and elsewhere in Europe during 2015. A total of 32,476 asylum seekers arrived in Finland in 2015. Most of the asylum seekers and quota refugees entering Finland in 2015 came from Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria.

Reception of refugees is based on international human rights and conventions

According to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, there are currently more than 60 million refugees in the world and of this total, almost 41 million are internally displaced people. Only a fraction of the world's refugees end up in Europe and in Finland because most of the refugees settle in the countries neighbouring the crisis-hit states.

Most of the world's countries, including Finland, are bound by the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention. Under the Convention, a person may not be returned to a country where they could face persecution. Finland’s refugee policy is also influenced by other international treaties and conventions as well as the EU legislation.

The English translation of the refugee reception manual will become available in autumn 2017.