The Finnish government decided in February that Finland would receive 175 vulnerable asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region.

A man thanking Finland during a welcoming picnic for refugees in 2015 in Helsinki. Picture: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today
A man thanking Finland during a welcoming picnic for refugees in 2015 in Helsinki. Picture: Tony Öhberg/Finland Today

About 25 minors from Greek refugee camps will arrive in Finland in early July, the Finnish Immigration Service (MIGRI) noted in a news release. In addition to Greece, Finland will be receiving relocated asylum seekers from Cyprus and Malta.

The Finnish government decided in February that Finland would receive 175 vulnerable asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region. Not all of the 175 will arrive in Finland at the same time. It is likely to take some months to complete the relocations.

Finland will receive a total of one hundred unaccompanied minors from Greek refugee camps. Single parents with their children can also be relocated from Greece. As far as Cyprus and Malta are concerned, the plan is to relocate both unaccompanied minors and single-parent families, a total of about 30 asylum seekers from Cyprus and approximately 26 from Malta. The schedules will be decided later.

As decided by the government, the asylum seekers to be relocated to Finland must be originally from especially dangerous countries and likely to require international protection. Finland has shared the criteria decided by the government with all the countries from which asylum seekers will be relocated, and the countries make their proposals of individuals to be received by Finland on that basis. “Finland cannot,” according to MIGRI, “pick the individuals who are put forward, but it can check whether the proposed asylum seekers satisfy the criteria set out in the government’s decision.”

In the statement, the relocation liaison officer and project manager, Monna Airainen, said that all asylum seekers received by Finland from the Mediterranean region will have vulnerable status.

The first relocation was originally scheduled for June but had to be postponed. Suitable representatives must be found for all unaccompanied minors, and all minors must be interviewed before they are relocated in order to assess what is best for them. All of the asylum seekers also have to undergo a medical examination.