Role of communities in promoting integration of quota refugees to be investigated
The Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment have commissioned a study on how a community sponsorship model could complement the authorities' efforts in the reception of quota refugees. The study will be conducted by the Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius, which operates under the auspices of the University of Jyväskylä. The purpose is to assess the legal and practical feasibility of the model in Finland.
In a community sponsorship model, a group of around five sponsors will usually be selected for a quota refugee who will participate in promoting the refugee’s integration for 1 or 2 years. The group can help quota refugees in matters such as dealings with public authorities, familiarisation with the culture, language studies and finding a place of study or job. The aim is to speed up and improve the integration of quota refugees.
In recent years, similar integration models have become more common in EU countries and around the world, and there have been encouraging reports on improved integration results for quota refugees. For example, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany and New Zealand are developing the integration of quota refugees in this direction.
The study will be completed in February 2021. The results will be used as the basis for future discussions. The study will help the authorities plan the use and testing of existing international models in Finland.
The Commission and the UN encourage the use of the new model
On 23 September, the European Commission issued a broad communication on migration and asylum, in which it emphasises, among other things, the importance of resettlement of refugees. In addition, the Commission encourages Member States to set up community sponsorship programmes to involve civil society. The development of these programmes is also one of the objectives of the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) strategy concerning resettlement for 2019–2021.
Next year Finland will receive 1,050 quota refugees. Refugee quotas are a way to accept global responsibility by offering protection in an effective and safe manner to those who need it most, such as women and children.
Mirka Eirola, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 383, [email protected] (quota refugees)
Katja Vänskä-Rajala, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 060 040, [email protected] (integration)
Kati Turtiainen, Senior Lecturer, tel. +358 40 669 1955, [email protected] (study on integration)