Reception centre operations have mostly fulfilled expectations

Migri 20.9.2017 13.24
News item

The Finnish Immigration Service launched a national reception system monitoring programme in January 2016. The operations of reception centres had already been monitored before but the programme made monitoring more systematic. The Finnish Immigration Service has used this monitoring programme to assess the operations of Finnish reception centres between 1 January 2016 and 30 April 2017.

The reception system for asylum seekers underwent major and rapid changes in 2015–2017. Several reception centres were established at short notice, and new operators took up their maintenance. As the number of asylum seekers evened out, the situation changed again and several reception centres were closed.

Rapid changes in the reception system were reflected in reception centre operations

The Finnish Immigration Service monitors reception centre operations especially by the following means:

  • with the help of the operating plans prepared by each reception centre,
  • through advice and guidance given to the reception centres by the Finnish Immigration Service,
  • monitoring and evaluation visits and inspection visits by Finnish Immigration Service officials and
  • requests for information concerning reception centre operations.

An assessment report indicates that reception centres have mostly operated in an appropriate manner. Some shortcomings and faults were also detected in the operations, but these were fixed at the reception centres during the monitoring period. Faults were for example observed in the decision-making concerning reception allowance, the preparation of work and study plans and the staffing of the reception centres.

The results of the assessment report understandably reflect the rapid establishment of reception centres. As many operators had no prior experience of reception centre operations, it took them some time to establish everyday routines and put proper procedures into place.

Professional competence clearly increasing in new reception centres

In 2016, the Reception Unit of the Finnish Immigration Service focused particularly on advising and guiding new reception centres. Finnish Immigration Service officials made a total of 266 monitoring visits to reception centres in 2016. Several trainings were also organised for various reception centre employee groups.

In addition, the reception operation experts of the Finnish Immigration Service kept daily contact with the reception centres. Judging by the questions asked by the reception centres, their professional competence has clearly improved. The new reception centres have proceeded from learning basic duties to performing more expert tasks.

Read the reception system assessment reportReadSpeakerpdf, 102,4 kB(in Finnish only).

Monitoring will be improved further

The Finnish Immigration Service will update the reception system monitoring programme in 2017.

Further information for the media

Olli Snellman, Head of Section, Reception Unit, e-mail:, tel. 0295 430 431

Press release