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Two children looked across the border to Sweden ahead of demonstration organised by asylum seekers in Tornio, Finland, on 5 September.
Two children looked across the border to Sweden ahead of demonstration organised by asylum seekers in Tornio, Finland, on 5 September.

 

The Green League on Sunday presented its demands for revising the asylum policy of Finland.

“The Finnish asylum system is broken,” slammed Kaisa Hernberg, the acting party secretary of the Green League. “Experienced immigration lawyers have estimated that the quality of asylum decisions has eroded and that the legal protection of asylum seekers has been compromised in an unprecedented way.”

The opposition party proposed that the obstacles to family reunifications be reduced by, for example, removing the income requirements imposed on the sponsors of reunifications who have been granted international protection.

“If it has been determined that a person is in need of international protection, it is obvious that the entire family must be brought to safety,” Katja Mannerström, the chairperson of the task force that drafted the policy paper, argued in a press release.

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“It is absolutely unreasonable to adopt an income level that is not easy to reach even for those who have no problems finding employment as a requirement.”

The Green League also demanded that the annual refugee quota be raised immediately from 750 to 2,500 – and later “at least to the levels elsewhere in the Nordics”. Sweden, for example, has adopted an annual refugee quota of 3,400 for 2017, according to the Swedish Migration Agency.

Mannerström reminded that particular attention must be paid to children when making decisions about detaining asylum seekers and implementing forced returns.

“Children must not be forcibly returned to unsafe areas. They must not be separated from their parents or detained. Children’s rights must be guaranteed always and in all circumstances,” she stressed.

The Green League also revealed that it is intent on encouraging ordinary households to house asylum seekers.

“We want to support the operations of domestic accommodation networks that promote integration. Let’s help those looking for domestic accommodation and those voluntarily providing accommodation find each other and raise awareness for domestic accommodation,” told Hernberg.

The policy paper was approved by the party council of the Green League in Riihimäki on Sunday, 24 September.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Panu Pohjola – Lehtikuva

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