Skip to content

Pilot project to cut lengthening refugee reception periods

The cities of Jyväskylä and Tampere are participating in a pilot project seeking ways to shorten the amount of time it takes for local authorities to receive and place emergency refugees. Areas in particular need of improvement in Finland’s refugee reception are medical care and housing.

Syyriasta saapuneita pakolaisia jonotti rekisteröityäkseen saapuneeksi Libanonissa sijaitsevalla pakolaisleirillä 18. marraskuuta. Image: AFP

Cases concerning refugees in need of rush placement, also known as emergency reception cases, are subject to UN-dictated deadlines. In some cases, however, the set time limits are badly exceeded.

“They are not being adhered to. The UN deadline is two to six weeks, but currently there can be as much as a year or two of delay before placement,” says Jyväskylä’s Immigration Services Director, Kati Turtiainen.

The south-central cities of Jyväskylä and Tampere are working to create models that would allow them to speed up their part of the process and thereby shorten emergency reception placement times.

“As soon as we receive information about who is coming to our municipality, we will contact housing services, and if necessary, health care and handicapped services. We have drawn up an exact flow chart of the process, explaining who does what and in what timeframe,” says Turtiainen.

Model to be put into practice soon

The Jyväskylä model is expected to act as a national model in the reception of refugees, as the stated objective of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy pilot project was to expand the practice to other areas.

“The goal is to create an emergency reception contract with certain localities. It is very important that Jyväskylä and Tampere have agreed to participate in a pilot like this, as it allows us to move forward on this issue,” says the Ministry’s Immigration Director, Kristina Stenman.

Stenman says Jyväskylä and Tampere were chosen for the pilot because they are both experienced in refugee reception.

“Both cities have a long tradition of refugee reception and a general readiness to take on those refugees that are in a very difficult situation,” she notes.

This year’s refugee quota in Jyväskylä is 50 individuals, 10 of whom are designated as emergency cases. Turtiainen says the functionality of the new model will soon be put to the test, when the first emergency placement cases of the year arrive in Jyväskylä.  

“We received word last week of our first emergency placements and we expect the families to arrive any day now,” she says.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia