Finland and Afghanistan signed a joint declaration on the return of Afghan asylum seekers
This is a translation of a press release by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 4 October 2016
Finland and Afghanistan have signed a joint declaration on voluntary and involuntary return of Afghan asylum seekers. The joint declaration affirms official procedures concerning both voluntary and involuntary return of asylum seekers.
The matter was discussed under the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior with the support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Permanent Secretary Päivi Nerg from the Ministry of the Interior conducted the first negotiations with the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the President's national security adviser in Kabul in May 2016. The joint declaration was signed by Minister of the Interior Risikko and Deputy Minister for Refugees Alema at the Conference on Afghanistan co-hosted by the European Union and the government of Afghanistan in Brussels.
In 2015, Afghans lodged the second highest number of asylum applications in Finland (5,214) after Iraqis. This year, 669 Afghans have applied for asylum in Finland (by 30 September), while 109 have returned voluntarily to Afghanistan (by 30 August).
Päivi Nerg, Permanent Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 50 456 1012
Pekka Hyvönen, Senior Adviser, email@example.com, tel. +358 50 465 8516