Asylum seekers, and increased numbers of undocumented people

Human rights and everyone’s equal value are the foundations of a democratic state. Human rights include a legal process and trust that equal actions are taken by authorities and other decision making bodies. Everyone does not have the right to asylum but everyone has the right to apply for asylum and receive a decision based on individual examination and legally secure treatment.

Finland’s current asylum politics does not meet this criteria. Those of us that work or volunteer, time and time again come across cases that prove this. The asylum seekers
rights to assistance in interviews and during other parts of the process has been restricted by the current government. Asylum based on humanitarian grounds has been abolished by the same government. The processes have been carelessly completed and several examinations of this has demonstrated that the decisions have not been made for the individual but in some sense for groups.

Decisions should not be made based on statistical goals, tight time frames and the general public’s preconceptions, but by a well informed legal process and interviews. The great majority of the people that come to our country on the basis of humanitarian reasons want a future of meaningful existence, employment and a possibility to contribute to society. Everyone is aware that Finland in the future will need a larger workforce. The majority of people that come to Finland on a humanitarian basis are of working age for many years to come.

With the current asylum politics we are going to see an increased number of undocumented individuals on our streets that in the long run can have dire consequences. Undocumented people are the most vulnerable in our society, can easily become victims of human trafficking but can also, due to their own desperation, be recruited by criminal gangs or choose themselves to lead a criminal lifestyle.

The main reason that Finland needs to renew its asylum politics is last but not least for humanitarian reasons. We need to restore the tradition that has long been a proud value of
Finland; to be an expert in human rights and influence in our world, such as through people like Elisabeth Rehn and Martti Ahtisaari. Finland is ranked top in the world for anticorruption, education, care, child safety etc. Added to this, the countries where most refugees from to Finland (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Congo and Somalia) are also the countries that top the list of most vulnerable countries in the world.

As a privileged democratic country we have the possibility, and in my opinion duty, to show solidarity and fairly influence the world. This is how I want to see my Finland.

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