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The refugee centre in Turku's Pansio district will lose 50 beds after the Finnish Immigration Service's decision to reduce the amount of reception centres and beds across the country due to the moderate amount of asylum seekers this year. Picture: Jussi Vierimaa / SPR

The refugee centre in Turku’s Pansio district will lose 50 beds after the Finnish Immigration Service’s decision to reduce the amount of reception centres and beds across the country due to the moderate amount of asylum seekers this year. Picture: Jussi Vierimaa / SPR

The amount of asylum seekers seeking refuge in Finland has lowered significantly. This year, about 2,200 people have sought asylum.

Reception centres are set up and closed down on the basis of need. At the beginning of the year, the number of asylum seekers has been moderate and beds in units are becoming vacant as some asylum seekers choose to leave the country voluntarily or they receive decisions.

The occupancy rate of reception centres is currently 82 per cent. According to the Finnish Immigration Service, due to the maintenance costs of vacant capacity, it is not advisable to keep beds vacant.

In result, the Finnish Immigration Service has decided to close 33 reception centres across the country. In addition, the fixed-term agreements with 10 centres will expire. Accommodation capacity will be reduced in several reception centres in which operations will continue.

The closures will reduce the accommodation capacity by 7,232 beds, with units intended for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers accounting for 613 beds.

After these and previously announced closures and cuts in accommodation capacity, the number of beds will total 20,700 in units housing adults and approximately 1,700 in units housing minors.

The Finnish Immigration service has decided that the units that are to be closed down are no longer needed. The decisions were made on the basis of an assessment of the reception system. The reasons for the closures were different in each unit.

Here’s the full list of the reception units to be closed down and downsized:

Reduction of 6,619 beds in units for adults:

Units to be closed:

  • Helsinki/Koskela, City of Helsinki, 240 beds, by 31 May
  • Helsinki/Sturenkatu, Finnish Red Cross FRC, 280 beds, by 30 September
  • Helsinki/Vuoranta, FRC, 98 beds,by 30 September
  • Hyrynsalmi, FRC,150 beds,by 30 June
  • Joutsa, FRC,150 beds,by 30 September
  • Kangasala, FRC,390 beds,by 31 May
  • Keitele/FRC 100 beds,by 30 September
  • Kokemäki, FRC,100 beds,by 30 June
  • Kouvola/Valkeala, FRC,85 beds,by 30 September
  • Malax/Tolvis & Tuvas, FRC,74 beds,by 30 June
  • Muhos, FRC,200 beds,by 31 July
  • Oulu/Hiukkavaara, FRC,340 beds, by 30 June
  • Petäjävesi, FRC,90 beds, by 30 September
  • Raseborg/Resort, FRC,300 beds, by 30 September
  • Rovaniemi/Muurola, FRC,300 beds, by 30 September
  • Ruovesi/Ruhala, FRC,89 beds, by 30 September
  • Saarijärvi/Mellikka, FRC,60 beds, by 30 June
  • Savonlinna/Kerimäki, Viittakivi Oy,55 beds,by 30 June
  • Tervola, FRC,150 beds, by 30 May
  • Turku/Turku Youth Hostel, FRC,100 beds, by 30 April
  • Vihti, FRC,178 beds, by 30 September

3,529 beds in total.

Capacity reductions:

  • Asikkala, KotoumaOy,30 beds,by 31 March
  • Harjavalta, FRC,120 beds, by 30 September
  • Heinola, Viittakivi Oy,115 beds, by 31 May
  • Heinola, Hemcare Heinola Oy,60 beds, by 30 April
  • Hyvinkää, Metsätähti Oy,30 beds, by 31 March
  • Hämeenlinna/Lammi, FRC,50 beds, by 30 April
  • Jyväskylä/Kangasvuori, FRC,50 beds, by 30 April
  • Kemi, FRC,100 beds,by 30 June
  • Kemijärvi, FRC,100 beds, by 31 August
  • Keuruu, FRC100 beds, by 30 April
  • Kirkkonummi/Aavaranta, FRC,150 beds, by 30 June
  • Korsnäs, FRC,20 beds,by 30 April
  • Kotka, City of Kotka,70 beds,by 30 June
  • Kotka/Laajakoski, FRC,50 beds,by 31 March
  • Kristinestad, FRC,130 beds,by 31 May
  • Kuusamo, FRC,100 beds,by 30 June
  • Lahti/Hennala, FRC100 beds,by 30 April
  • Lieksa, Lieksa Christian Community College,65 beds,by 31 May
  • Mänttä-Vilppula, FRC,100 beds,by 30 April
  • Pieksämäki, FRC,50 beds,by 30 April
  • Jakobstad, Municipality of Vörå,50 beds,by 31 May
  • Punkalaidun, FRC,50 beds,by 31 May
  • Pyhtää, Kotouma Oy20 beds,by 31 March
  • Orimattila, FRC,50 beds,by 30 April
  • Oulu/Vallinkorva, FRC,90 beds,by 30 June
  • Pori, FRC,50 beds,by 30 April
  • Raahe, FRC,50 beds, by 30 June
  • Rovaniemi, FRC,100 beds, by 30 June
  • Ruukki, FRC,50 beds,by 30 June
  • Salo, Medivida Oy,50 beds,by 30 April
  • Salo, FRC,50 beds,by 30 April
  • Siilinjärvi, Kuopion Setlementti Puijola ry,110 beds,by 31 May
  • Tampere/Rautaharkko, Metsätähti Oy,30 beds,by 30 April
  • Turku/Pansio, FRC,50 beds,by 30 April
  • Vaasa, City of Vaasa,50 beds,by 31 May
  • Vörå/Oravainen, Municipality of Vörå,50 beds,by 31 May

2,490 beds in total.

Additionally:

Units maintained by Luona Oy (to be specified in April) 600 beds

Reduction of 613 beds in units for minors:

Units to be closed:

  • Espoo, A-Clinic Foundation,55 beds,by 30 September
  • Haapajärvi, SOS Children’s Village,14 beds,by 30 September
  • Helsinki/Ruskeasuo, FRC,40 beds,by 30 April
  • Kangasala, Ahokodit Oy,14 beds,by 30 June
  • Kempele, Arjen Avain Oy (ODL),30 beds,by 31 July
  • Muhos, Nuorten ystävät -palvelut Oy,7 beds,by 30 September
  • Nurmijärvi, FRC,14 beds,by 31 May
  • Oulu/Myllytulli, Oulu Mother and Child Home,40 beds,by 30 September
  • Salo/Kurkela, Kalliola Patron’s Association,18 beds,by 30 September
  • Sipoo, Medivida Oy,14 beds,by 30 September
  • Suonenjoki, Vanhamäki Foundation,40 beds,by 30 September

286 beds in total.

Units to be closed down due to expiry of agreement:

  • Haapavesi Folk High School,15 beds,by 31 August
  • The Church Training College in Järvenpää,24 beds,by 31 July
  • Kainuu College,18 beds,by 31 July
  • Evangelical Folk High School of Kitee,15 beds,by 31 August
  • Lieksa Christian Community College,42 beds,by 20 August
  • Evangelical Folk High School of Loimaa,50 beds,by 31 August
  • The Church Training College in Pieksämäki,26 beds,by 31 July
  • Pohjois-Savo College,15 beds,by 31 August
  • Porvoo Folk High School,20 beds,by 31 August
  • The Church Training College in Ruokolahti,25 beds,by 31 July

250 beds in total.

Capacity reductions:

  • Helsinki/Ruskeasuo, FRC,7 beds,by 30 April
  • Huittinen, AMF Vastaanottopalvelut Oy,20 beds,by 31 May
  • Sipoo, Mannerheim League for Child, Welfare Uusimaa, 10 beds,by 31 May
  • Äänekoski, Ankkuri Lastensuojelupalvelut Oy, 40 beds,by 31 May

77 beds in total.

Unit-specific schedules may change.

Source: The Finnish Immigration Service