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New videos to inform asylum seekers of basic rights, criminal law and sanctions for crimes

19.12.2018 11.21
Press release

The series of videos that was released today will inform asylum seekers of basic rights, criminal law and the sanctions for crimes in Finland. The video material will be used at the reception centres as part of the training about Finnish society that the asylum seekers participate in.

The videos have been produced as part of the more extensive project TURVA, a joint project by the Finnish Immigration Service and the Police University College. One of the aims of the project is to advance asylum seekers’ conceptions of basic and human rights and to provide them information about Finnish society.

The primary message in the videos is that everyone has the right to feel safe and that criminal actions always have consequences. "The responsibility for a crime is with the individual himself or herself", says Project Manager Seija Hämäläinen from the Oulu reception centre.

The video material also deals with very serious crimes, such as the sexual abuse of a child, honour related violence and domestic violence. All in all, there are 11 themes. The videos are available in 11 different languages on the Finnish Immigration Service’s YouTube channel.

The video material builds on police research data

As part of the project, the Police University College published in the spring of 2018 a research report on asylum seeker related crime reported to the police. The research was conducted by going through police reports where an asylum seeker was either the victim or the suspect. The manuscripts for the videos are based on the research data.

Also immigrants have participated in the planning and making of the videos. The aim was for the message to be as clear as possible for recipients from different cultural backgrounds.

The videos will be used as information material at the reception centres, because videos often help make the information more easily understandable and are able to reach more recipients. Among the asylum seekers there are also groups with special needs, such as the illiterate, who can be more easily reached with help of the videos.

Preventive work is more than just videos

During the last few weeks, the Finnish Immigration Service has received lots of questions about the pre-integration work carried out at the reception centres. The videos and information materials are a part of this work. The work is carried our daily as a part of everyday life.

"The reception centres are instructed to give as much information as possible, from as many angles as possible, and as soon possible after a person has been placed in the reception centre", says Pekka Nuutinen, Director of the Reception Unit.

The work carried out at the reception centres is preventive work with an aim to identify potential disturbances in time and to tackle problems before they become critical. The TURVA project has also concentrated on advancing the work carried out at the reception centres more extensively. It has, for instance, involved training on the usage of working methods that prevent violence. Reception centre employees around Finland have been trained for example in how to act in potential risk situations.

The project TURVA has been financed by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

Further information for the media

  • Project Manager Seija Hämäläinen, Oulu reception centre (TURVA project), tel. +358 295 430 431, email: [email protected]
  • Director of Reception Unit Pekka Nuutinen (general reception matters), tel. +358 295 430 431, email: [email protected]