Sunday 9/27/20
IMMIGRATION

Finland updates action plan to prevent illegal entry and residence

Concrete measures will be promoted to prevent people from staying in the country without a legal right of residence.

The project will support the objective that immigration should be well managed and socially sustainable, the Ministry of the Interior says.

Immigrants and refugees who lost their homes in Wednesday's fire in the Moria refugee camp hold placards during a protest. Photo: Eurokinissi/dpa.
Immigrants and refugees who lost their homes in Wednesday's fire in the Moria refugee camp hold placards during a protest. Photo: Eurokinissi/dpa.

The Ministry of the Interior has launched an update of an action plan for preventing illegal entry and residence for 2021–2024. Along with the issues in the previous action plans, the new action plan will also examine the status of those residing in the country without a residence permit, the phenomena of abuse associated with them and the status of human trafficking victims.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, the action plan will aim to promote concrete measures to prevent people from staying in the country without a legal right of residence. Such measures would include proactive measures in countries of origin and transit as well as support for return to the home country and reintegration. The work being carried out in the EU to combat human smuggling and to promote return will also be taken into account when preparing the updated plan.

In addition, the action plan will take into consideration the work being done by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on the status of victims of human trafficking, and the work being carried out by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to prevent the exploitation of foreign workers.

“The action plan will seek ways to prevent the emergence of a shadow society. We need to pay particular attention to vulnerable people, such as victims of human trafficking. People who reside in the country without a residence permit are particularly at risk of becoming excluded and being exploited by criminals or crime groups. If a young person has no hope for the future, he or she can also become more easily excluded from society and turn to criminal activity,” says Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo.

Previous plan focused on asylum seekers

The previous action plan for preventing illegal entry and residence, the third of its kind, was drawn up for 2017–2020. It focused on the changes in the operating environment brought about by the rapid increase in the number of asylum seekers arriving in 2015–2016 and the challenges posed by these changes.

It was agreed in the Government Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin that the action plan would be updated.

The project will support the objective of the joint strategy for the Ministry of the Interior’s administrative branch that immigration should be well managed and socially sustainable, the Ministry of the Interior says.

The update of the action plan is due to be completed on 31 December 2020.

The Ministry of the Interior has invited representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Finnish Immigration Service and the National Police Board to join in the preparations.

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