Some of the children and young people seeking asylum arrive in Finland without a guardian. In 2015, a total of 3,024 unaccompanied minors arrived in Finland to seek asylum. Under section 33 of the Reception Act (746/2011), a representative must be appointed to an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker.
Unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Finland are accommodated in group homes or supported housing units for the duration of the asylum application process. Unaccompanied minors may also be accommodated in folk high schools or in private homes.
An effort is made to process their asylum applications as quickly as possible, and most of them are issued with residence permits in Finland. Every effort is made to prevent the misuse of the procedure for accepting minor asylum seekers. This is in the interest of the unaccompanied minors themselves and helps to ensure the effectiveness of the asylum procedure.
When an unaccompanied minor has been issued with a residence permit, their care, attention and upbringing are provided for in a family group home, supported housing, a supported residential unit, family placement or private accommodation or, for example, at a folk high school. A child or a young person may be covered by support measures until they reach the age of 21 or until they have a guardian in Finland.