DEMANDS OF THE PROTESTING ASYLUM SEEKERS


ISSUE 1) MIGRI DECISIONS ARE FAULTY

ISSUE: Migri has been unprofessional with the decisions, and this leads to life-dangering deportations. Migri’s faulty procedure cannot be corrected in the courts. The court system does not secure that legal rights of asylum seekers will be met.

DEMANDS AND SOLUTIONS: 1) Migri needs to admit that inexperienced staff and poor country reports have led to faulty decisions, 2) These decisions need to reviewed again in order to prevent refoulement,  3) There needs to be an independent outside review of the quality of the asylum process in Migri to prevent further mistakes and misconduct, 4) Migri needs to update the sources of the country reports and make them, and the sources behind them, public  compare them internationally

DETAILS OF THE ISSUE:
  • In 2015, Migri hired a lot of people who don’t have experience in asylum matters. This led to very different problems in quality of the asylum process:
    • there has been serious problems with interview protocols: 1) typing up of the interviews has been with mistakes, 2) People did not have the chance to check what was written   
    • the faulty interview records and protocols are also what the court is relying on, so the faulty interviews corrupted the whole process. On the court level, they cannot be corrected.
    • in many cases, individual evidence has not been used, and asylum seekers’ individual need for international protection have not been investigated
    • there have been very serious problems with the translators, from mistranslation to lack of understanding (for instance the dialect of the asylum seeker);
    • there have been reported cases of “predator lawyers” who have not actually represented their clients.
  • The Country of Origin Information (COI) reports are seriously misleading, outdated, politically motivated and life threatening.
    • The COI reports that Migri produces are very different from the COI reports in other countries, for instance Sweden (for Iraqis, the average rate for some type of international protection is 62% in the whole of EU, significantly higher than in Finland);
    • the statistics and information used are not up to date. In war-like situation, a report from 2013 is not good for decisions in 2016-7;
    • inclarity on sources that are used. For instance, relying on reports by the Iraqi and Afghan governments, that are known to be corrupt, is problematic;
    • decisions are problematic and controversial when in some cases Migri does not even follow the reports it has itself produced.
  • The option of internal flight is seriously problematic and leads to life dangering situations: 1) “safe zones” within a country does not provide safety from individual persecution in a nearly failed state, 2)  Exceptions to the internal flight option are not clear. For instance, when it is ruled that Sunnis from Mosul are not safe in Baghdad, but a Sunni who lives a few kilometres from Mosul is sent to Baghad.
  • The concept of family used by Migri is extremely problematic, when for instance some members receive international protection but others dont. The country reports need to acknowledge different family systems in the Middle East, according to which danger to the head of the family may mean danger to his adult children.


ISSUE 2) DEPORTATIONS LEAD TO LIFE THREATENING SITUATIONS

ISSUE: Because of the above mistakes in Migri’s work, people are deported to life-threatening situations.  Migri needs to take responsibility for its role in the process leading to unjust deportations.

DEMANDS AND SOLUTIONS: All deportations must be stopped immediately, for both Iraqis and Afghans, until the demands of issue 1 have been met.

DETAILS OF THE ISSUE:
  • Police is executing the deportation for reasons that trace back to the faulty asylum process as described above;
  • there is a cycle of avoiding responsibility between Migri, the police and the court. When none of them admit to faulty process, the asylum seeker faces deportation and refoulement;
  • the psychological and physical violence and brutality, and financial bribery by the police (as reported by Finnish media) is a further proof that deportations must cease immediately.


ISSUE 3)  EVICTIONS FROM RECEPTIONS CENTERS ARE ARBITRARY AND PROBLEMATIC

ISSUE: The guidelines of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have led to serious confusion over responsibility between the reception centres, the municipalities, and the state. As a result, people who have fallen victims to the faulty process of Migri are evicted from the camps with no shelter and the minimum income and protection as guaranteed in the law.

DEMANDS AND SOLUTIONS: 1) Migri needs to use its political power to guarantee that the right to shelter and subsistence of people will be guaranteed by municipalities. 2) Migri needs to instruct the Finnish Red Cross, Luona, and other service providers that people are allowed to stay in reception centres until proper shelter, that is not short term, is guaranteed. 3) All people in Finland are entitled to urgent health care. We demand precise definition of exactly what is considered urgent.

DETAILS OF THE ISSUE:
  • The policies of providing shelter to people evicted from reception centres is different in each municipality;
  • All municipalities do not follow the guidelines and people are forced to leave from centres with no information where to go;
  • It is illegal to evict children on the streets, and children with families need to stay together with their parents;
  • At the moment, particularly in the capital region, much of the care for evicted has been outsourced to the NGOs, church and volunteers;
  • There are cases in which people have evicted while they are still waiting on the court’s decision on the right to appeal against the second negative decision;
  • It is not clear that what exactly is considered as "urgent" health care.


TO SUM UP: We have demands for different levels of authorities as follows. In addition to above demand Migri to use its power and political pressure for these demands on all levels of governance:

POLICE: not to execute violent deportations

MUNICIPALITIES: To fulfill their obligation to guarantee shelter, helathcare, schooling, and subsistence to everyone in need

PARLIAMENT: To discuss a long-standing solution that will 1) Uphold the good international reputation of Finland as a country that guarantees human rights 2) Discuss the possibility of reintroducing humanitarian protection without the demand to participate in so-called “voluntary return” scheme

GOVERNMENT: To acknowledge its responsibility in bringing about an unprecendet situation in which Finland cannot guarantee that people’s basic rights are met and that they face refoulement.



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