Finnish immigration officials have revised their security assessments for Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, which last year contributed the largest number of refugees to the Nordic country. Now, authorities believe these countries to be safe to return to, thus making it more difficult for asylum seekers to receive residence permits in Finland.
According to Finland's immigration authorities, who have re-assessed the security situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, major improvements have been noticed, thus making it safe for nationals to return to their home countries, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.
Curiously, Finland's Foreign Ministry still dissuades Finnish citizens from visiting these countries due to security risks. Meanwhile, Daesh still holds key cities and vast swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq, which it seized in 2014. Only yesterday, a total of four explosions took 44 lives and injured over 90 in Iraq, which seems to have plunged deeper into chaos and sectarian violence.
At the same time, Finland has ended the practice of granting residence permits to those denied asylum for humanitarian protection due to legal reforms that took effect on Monday. Previously, Finland granted a few hundred residence permits annually in an attempt to provide for the humanitarian protection of applicants coming mainly from Iraq and Somalia. This rule was applied in cases where the applicants' country of origin didn't meet the protection requirements and it was deemed unsafe to return to. Now, asylum seekers will only be allowed to stay if they can prove that they were individually at risk.
Despite the significant drop in the flow of refugees, Finland is still struggling with the consequences of last year's immigration disaster. Over 2,500 asylum seekers have been reported missing from reception centers, Yle reported, citing the Central Criminal Police.
According to Päivi Nerg of the Interior Ministry, the situation raises concern. The number of missing refugees can be called "great," she argued, citing the risk that the fugitives may resort to criminal activity.
"This phenomenon seems to be a threat to Finland," she told Yle, expressing fear the runaways may have already left Finland, as the country lacks a mechanism to follow their path once they have been registered in a reception center.
At the same time, Nerg stressed that it is close to impossible to live a paperless, 'off-the-grid' life in Finland.
"You won't be able to work, you won't be granted any support, you won't even be able to open a bank account. You won't really be able to live a normal life without papers," she told Yle.
This is not the first time asylum seekers have "evaporated" from European reception centers. Some 13 percent of all migrants who officially entered Germany in 2015 never turned up at the accommodation provided for them, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported in late February.
The fact of registration and authorization of users on Sputnik websites via users’ account or accounts on social networks indicates acceptance of these rules.
Users are obliged abide by national and international laws. Users are obliged to speak respectfully to the other participants in the discussion, readers and individuals referenced in the posts.
The websites’ administration has the right to delete comments made in languages other than the language of the majority of the websites’ content.
In all language versions of the sputniknews.com websites any comments posted can be edited.
A user comment will be deleted if it:
does not correspond with the subject of the post;
promotes hatred and discrimination on racial, ethnic, sexual, religious or social basis or violates the rights of minorities;
violates the rights of minors, causing them harm in any form, including moral damage;
contains ideas of extremist nature or calls for other illegal activities;
contains insults, threats to other users, individuals or specific organizations, denigrates dignity or undermines business reputations;
contains insults or messages expressing disrespect to Sputnik;
violates privacy, distributes personal data of third parties without their consent or violates privacy of correspondence;
describes or references scenes of violence, cruelty to animals;
contains information about methods of suicide, incites to commit suicide;
pursues commercial objectives, contains improper advertising, unlawful political advertisement or links to other online resources containing such information;
promotes products or services of third parties without proper authorization;
contains offensive language or profanity and its derivatives, as well as hints of the use of lexical items falling within this definition;
contains spam, advertises spamming, mass mailing services and promotes get-rich-quick schemes;
promotes the use of narcotic / psychotropic substances, provides information on their production and use;
contains links to viruses and malicious software;
is part of an organized action involving large volumes of comments with identical or similar content ("flash mob");
“floods” the discussion thread with a large number of incoherent or irrelevant messages;
violates etiquette, exhibiting any form of aggressive, humiliating or abusive behavior ("trolling");
doesn’t follow standard rules of the English language, for example, is typed fully or mostly in capital letters or isn’t broken down into sentences.
The administration has the right to block a user’s access to the page or delete a user’s account without notice if the user is in violation of these rules or if behavior indicating said violation is detected.