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Clinic for undocumented migrants wins human rights award

The Finnish section of Amnesty International has granted its annual Candle Award to the Global Clinic, a network providing services for undocumented migrants.

The Global Clinic serves undocumented migrants across Finland. Image: Kari Ahotupa / Yle

A group providing healthcare and other services to undocumented migrants has been granted a human rights award by the Finnish section of Amnesty International.

The Global Clinic runs services in Helsinki, Turku, Lahti, Tampere, Joensuu and Oulu, offering primarily medical assistance but also other advice and services to undocumented migrants who fall outside the remit of the Finnish healthcare system. Services are offered anonymously, free of charge and in confidence.

"Over the last few years governments across Europe have weakened asylum seekers' and undocumented migrants' position," said Amnesty Finland's Managing Director Frank Johansson. "Finland is no exception. Therefore operators like the Global Clinic have become even more important."

Expanded provision

The municipality of Helsinki recently agreed to expand the range of healthcare services available to undocumented migrants after a lengthy debate and a close vote in the city council.

The annual Candle Award recognises human rights work conducted in Finland and has been granted each year since 2002.

It is usually awarded on 10 December, which was made International Human Rights Day (siirryt toiseen palveluun) in recognition of the United Nations General assembly adopting the Universal Declaration on Human Rights on that date in 1948.