Finnish Immigration Service is developing its country information reports – reports on Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan will no longer be published in every six months

17.9.2019 12.51
Press release

This autumn, the Finnish Immigration Service is launching a project for further development of its reporting practices concerning the country of origin information required for asylum decisions. As current country of origin information is needed about an increasing number of countries, the goal of the project is to make the situation reporting even more flexible than before.

The project group will create a new model for compiling situation reports on different countries.

"The number of people seeking asylum in Finland has decreased, but the number of countries of origin has been increasing and the information needs of the decision-making units have become more diverse," says Jaakko Purontie, Head of Section of Legal Service of the Finnish Immigration Service.

One example of the changing needs is that having current country of origin information about certain locations or different applicant groups, for example, is even more important than before.

In 2019, the largest number of new asylum seekers has come from Turkey, Russia and Iraq. The total number of asylum applications submitted this year is 3,038, out which 1,608 were first applications (situation 31 August 2019). Among the applicants are about 80 different nationalities.

The project Sopu has been granted support from the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

Situation in Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan continuously monitored

Since 2016, the Finnish Immigration Service has been publishing country information reports on the security situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia once every six months, in accordance with the action plan on asylum policy by the previous Finnish government. The reports have covered, among other things, the security situation in these countries. In 2016, the most common countries of origin among new asylum seekers in Finland were Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Such reports will no longer be compiled in every six months. Instead, the agency will compile and publish more comprehensive reviews of the situation in different countries when the need arises. Reports will be compiled especially of the countries from which asylum seekers and quota refugees come to Finland.

The change has no bearing on what type of country of origin information is used in decision-making; we will continue the constant monitoring of the security situation of countries. Because the security situation in different countries can change quickly, current country of origin information will still be continuously produced to support asylum decisions. When an individual’s asylum application is decided, the country information that is relevant for this particular applicant is always taken into account.

The situation reports are available on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service.

Facts: Research-based information on the situation in countries to support decision-making

  • The Country Information Service of the Finnish Immigration Service produces country of origin information (COI) in particular about the countries from which asylum seekers and quota refugees come to Finland.
  • The researchers of the Country Information Service are continuously monitoring the situation in the countries of origin and reporting on changes.
  • The situation of each asylum seeker is always assessed individually, not only on the basis of country information. The agency examines each person’s individual situation to find out whether the person is at risk of being subjected to persecution or serious harm if he or she returns to his or her home country.
  • Information about countries is acquired in many ways. The sources include fact-finding missions, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), research institutions, and the country information services of other countries and their research networks.

Further information for the media

  • Jaakko Purontie, Head of Section, Legal Service, email: [email protected], tel. +358 295 433 037
  • Read more about the researchers of the Country Information Unit in our newsroom (in Finnish).
  • Basics of country of origin information in our information bank (in Finnish).