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Legislative amendments to improve status of victims of human trafficking

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 18.2.2022 10.19
Press release 30/2022

The Ministry of the Interior has set up a legislative project to review the provisions on the Assistance System for Victims of Human Trafficking. This builds on the Government Programme, which states that the status of victims will be improved, regardless of the progress of related criminal proceedings in a human trafficking case.

The project will make amendments to the Act on the Reception of Persons Applying for International Protection and on the Identification of and Assistance to Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings that are key from the perspective of the intentions of the Government Programme. Other development needs related to the existing regulation on the Assistance System may also be taken into account in legislative drafting.

Under the current legislation, the right of a victim of human trafficking to continue to receive assistance through the Assistance System is largely connected to the criminal proceedings and the progress of the proceedings. For this reason, the right to assistance may cease, for example if sufficient proof of a human trafficking offence is not obtained. Because of the link to the criminal proceedings, it is believed that not all persons in need of assistance may even seek admittance to the Assistance System.

The Ministry of the Interior will prepare the necessary legislative amendments in close cooperation with the Finnish Immigration Service and the Assistance System for Victims of Human Trafficking operating under it. Other key stakeholders will be consulted during the preparation process as necessary.

The preparatory work is supported by a cross-sectoral working group appointed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in 2020. Its task is to draft legislative amendments concerning assistance for victims of human trafficking. One of the objectives of the working group is to weaken the link between assistance and criminal proceedings. 

The project will run from 17 February to 31 December 2022. The Government proposal is due to be submitted in autumn 2022.

Inquiries:

Roope Jokinen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 362, [email protected]