The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) has announced its decision to reduce the accommodation capacity of reception centres in Finland by approximately 1,100 beds by the end of August.
The decision, it reveals, will result in the closures of 11 reception centres – four of which are units for adults and families, and seven for unaccompanied minors – and in a decrease in the number of beds in an additional six reception centres.
Migri says in a press release it has terminated its contracts with the operators of the centres facing closure, which will be responsible for conducting consultative negotiations and laying off personnel.
The accommodation capacity is being reduced due to the dwindling number of asylum seekers arriving in Finland. Migri reminds that the objective is to keep the number of beds as close to the demand as possible and to maintain an occupancy rate of 90 per cent at the reception centres.
“It is expensive to maintain unnecessary accommodation capacity,” it explains.
Finland’s reception centres currently have a combined accommodation capacity of 16,000 beds. The Ministry of the Interior has estimated that roughly 10,000 people will seek asylum in Finland in 2017. The monthly number of applications peaked at almost 11,000 in September, 2015, according to statistics.
A list of the reception centres facing closure and reducing their accommodation capacity is provided in the press release.
Migri last year announced that the number of beds at reception centres will be reduced by a total of 22,000. The majority of the capacity reductions – 15,800 beds – have already been implemented, while the remaining 6,400 beds will be reduced by the end of June.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva