Monitoring report: The operation of reception centres is usually appropriate, though deficiencies were also found

6.5.2019 10.45
Press release

The Finnish Immigration Service made several monitoring visits to reception centres last year. According to the 2018 monitoring report, the deficiencies detected on the visits were usually minor and the reception centres mainly operated in an appropriate manner.

The most serious deficiencies concerned the number of employees, their insufficient induction and the reception centre’s safety arrangements.

"If deficiencies are detected in the reception centre’s operation, we insist that they are corrected and also monitor the situation. The aim of monitoring is to improve and harmonise reception centre operations and to rectify any errors and shortcomings. In monitoring, we seek to pursue smooth cooperation with the centres and to constantly develop the operations", says Olli Snellman, Head of Section.

The Finnish Immigration Service introduced the current national asylum seeker reception system monitoring programme in 2016.

In 2018, the Finnish Immigration Service made a total of 22 monitoring visits to the centres. Attention during the visits was paid to the overall operation of the reception centre, the implementation of different services, customer feedback, safety and personnel arrangements.

There were a total of 49 reception centres in Finland at the end of 2018, of which 6 were intended for minors.

Initial health examinations of asylum seekers well on schedule

The Finnish Immigration Service also monitors the way in which health care has been organised for asylum seekers in reception centres. The Finnish Immigration Service made 22 health care monitoring visits in 2018.

According to the monitoring visits, asylum seekers’ health examinations and vaccinations have been organised in an appropriate manner. The nurse at the reception centre conducts an initial health interview within two weeks of the arrival of the asylum seeker in the country. In the health examination, the need for acute, necessary care, for example, is assessed.

Even though reception centres’ external health care services do not directly belong to the monitoring programme, the monitoring report indicates that the availability of child and school health care services had improved. Most significant variation was still observed in the availability of public mental health services in different locations. To a certain extent, asylum seekers use the same services as any other residents of a municipality, and the queue to these services may be longer in some municipalities than in others.

Content of the monitoring programme developed

The Finnish Immigration Service is further developing the monitoring of reception centres.

"Data collection related to the operation of reception centres, such as annually collected customer feedback and reporting any deviations in the everyday operations of reception centres to the Finnish Immigration Service, will be included better in the monitoring scheme", Snellman says.

The monitoring report can be read on our website (in Finnish only).

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 centres in Finland are maintained by several operators, most notably municipalities and the Finnish Red Cross.
  • More information on the operation of reception centres is available in the data bank

Further information for the media

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