Reception centres mostly operated in an appropriate manner

24.5.2018 11.52
Press release

The Finnish Immigration Service has once again assessed the operations of reception centres. The report, which is published on our website, concerns the period between 1 May and 31 December 2017. It describes the measures taken and observations made during reception centre monitoring.

The Finnish Immigration Service introduced the current national asylum seeker reception system monitoring programme in 2016. The aim of monitoring is to improve and harmonise reception centre operations and to rectify any errors and shortcomings.

Reception centre operations are monitored in various ways, including the following:

  • The Finnish Immigration Service carries out monitoring and evaluation visits and inspection visits to reception centres.
  • Reception centres may be requested to provide information concerning operations
  • Reception centres are given advice, guidance and training in order to ensure the quality of operations and consistency of services.
  • The reception centres prepare various plans, in support of operations, such as self-monitoring plans

Observed shortcomings mainly minor

The Finnish Immigration Service made four general monitoring and evaluation visits to reception centres between May and December. It also made 17 healthcare monitoring and evaluation visits.

The monitoring report indicates that reception centres have operated in an appropriate manner on the whole. Observations were mainly made regarding minor errors and shortcomings that did not pose a particular risk to operations. Incidents where compliance with instructions had, for various reasons, been deliberately neglected were also observed during monitoring. The decision was taken to address errors and shortcomings regularly.

The general desire is to increase monitoring and evaluation visits. The aim was to visit each reception centre during the past year. This objective was not fulfilled on account of other urgent tasks.

Contacts emphasised safety and coping

Staff at reception centres have been instructed to contact the Reception Unit of the Finnish Immigration Service and consult it regarding various issues emerging in day-to-day work.

Contacts made by reception centres emphasised safety, the mental health of customers, coping in general and issues relating to coping at work. Reception centres for adults and families, in particular, had some customers with extensive support needs.

During the summer and autumn of 2017, the Reception Unit organised a large number of training sessions for reception centre staff. Such training has supported the work of reception centres and improved the competencies of employees.

Centres’ plans require further development

In 2017, the reception centres submitted their self-monitoring plans and emergency preparedness plans to the Finnish Immigration Service.

The self-monitoring plans at some reception centres showed room for improvement. The plans were drawn up for external operators, rather than as support for the work of individual centres. For example, the plans sometimes lacked tangible measures or focused on describing the instructions of the Finnish Immigration Service.

The reception centres also submitted emergency preparedness plans to the Finnish Immigration Service. These consist of potential additional places and emergency reception. These plans have enabled nearly all of the centres to effectively internalise their emergency preparedness responsibility as part of national preparedness.

The aim is to transfer the plans to an electronic platform this year, which will enable better monitoring and make it easier to keep the plans up to date. The self-monitoring plan is intended to be a key document, which will also be inspected during reception centre visits.

The report is available on our website here (in Finnish only).

Further information for the media

Olli Snellman, Head of Section, tel. +358 295 430 431, e-mail: [email protected]

FACTS: The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for guidance, planning and monitoring

  • The Finnish Immigration Service is responsible for guiding, planning and monitoring the praxis of asylum seeker reception. The Reception Unit is responsible for this task within the Finnish Immigration Service.
  • Reception services, such as accommodation and healthcare, are provided centrally by the reception centre. In Finland, these services are maintained by a number of operators.
  • Public and private service providers outside the reception centres also provide asylum seekers with services. For example, specialised medical care services are mainly organised by hospital districts, while the municipalities are responsible for maternity and child health clinic services.
  • The Finnish Immigration Service and reception centres also procure specific social and health service packages from private service providers.