Thursday 16.07.2020
ASYLUM SEEKERS

Finland to close 7 reception centers by the end of the year

Migri says the sharp decline in the arrival of asylum seekers left an "unsustainable" amount of unused beds in public founded facilities.
Finland to close 7 reception centers by the end of the year

Finland will close seven reception centers for asylum seekers by the end of the year. And three others will suffer drastic reductions in capacity.

The decision was announced Wednesday by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), which says that the sharp decline in the arrival of people in need of international protection is due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This year, the number of asylum seekers arriving in Finland is about half compared to last year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, new asylum applications to Finland are down to a trickle," Migri says in a press release.

Occupancy rate at reception centres is currently considerably below the target level of 90%. The Finnish Immigration Service estimates that by the end of the year, the centres will have a total of approximately 1,400 vacant beds.

"Unsustainable"

"Spare beds are necessary, both for new asylum seekers and as a precaution against a second wave of the coronavirus. However, maintaining such a large number of unused beds on public funds is unsustainable," says Pekka Nuutinen, Director of the Reception Unit.

For this reason, the Finnish Immigration Service has decided to terminate the contracts of seven centres and reduce capacity at three other centres. The changes will be implemented by the end of the year.

Reception centres to be closed:

  • Jämsä Reception Centre, by the end of September. 170 beds.
  • Kemi Reception Centre, by the end of December. 200 beds.
  • Lieksa Reception Centre, by the end of December. 150 beds.
  • Siilinjärvi Reception Centre, by the end of December. 200 beds.
  • Mänttä-Vilppula Reception Centre, by the end of December. 200 beds.
  • Punkalaidun Reception Centre, by the end of December. 150 beds.
  • Hanko Reception Centre, by the end of December. 150 beds.

Reductions in capacity:

  • Rovaniemi Reception Centre. Capacity reduced by 68 beds by the end of September. New capacity 200 beds.
  • Kristiinankaupunki Reception Centre. Capacity reduced by 50 beds by the end of September. New capacity 200 beds.
  • Tampere Reception Centre. Capacity reduced by 50 beds by the end of December. New capacity 200 beds.

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