Migration events in Finland in 2015

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The 2015 migrant crisis in Finland relates to the broader European migrant crisis of 2015.

Chronology of 2015[edit]

  • On 13 September 2015 it was reported that the local authorities had estimated the flow of 300 asylum seekers per day entering via the northern land border from Sweden into Tornio, which is the main route of migration flow into Finland.[1] The total number of asylum seekers for the year was reported to be over 2.6 times the total amount for the whole of the previous year.[2]
  • During October 2015, 7,058 new asylum seekers arrived in Finland. In mid-October the number of asylum seekers entering Finland during 2015 reached 27,000, which is, in relation to the country's size, the fourth-largest in Europe.[3] In late November, the number passed 30,000, nearly ten-fold increase compared to the previous year.[4] In September, The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) estimated that processing time of an asylum application may be extended from normal six months up to two years.[5] In late November, the reception centers were reported to be rapidly running out of space, forcing the authorities resorting to refurbished shipping containers and tents to house new asylum seekers.[4][6] The Interior Minister Petteri Orpo estimated that two in three asylum seekers come to Finland in hopes of higher standard of living.
  • In November, the Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry stated that approximately 60–65% of the recent applications for asylum will be denied.[3] More than 60% of asylum seekers who arrived during 2015 came from Iraq.[7]
  • In late October, The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) changed its guidelines about areas in Iraq which are recognized as safe by the Finnish authorities,[7] putting Iraqi asylum seekers under closer scrutiny.[8]
  • In late November, it was reported that more than 700 Iraqis had voluntarily canceled their asylum applications during September and October. According to the officials of Migri, some of the Iraqi asylum seekers have had erroneous assumptions about the country's asylum policy.[7]
  • On 22 November 2015 it was reported that Finland had appealed to Russia with a proposal to prohibit the crossings at some of the land borders by bicycle.[9][10]
  • On 27 December 2015, it was reported that Finland had blocked access for people to cross over two Russian border crossings (Raja-Jooseppi and Salla) by bicycles. Many asylum seekers were reported to have earlier crossed the border by bicycles.[11]
  • On 3 December, the Interior Minister Petteri Orpo announced that special repatriation centers would be established. These centers would be inhabited by the asylum seekers whose applications were declined. While he stressed that these camps would not be prisons, he described the inhabitants would be under strict surveillance.[12]
  • On 4 December 2015, Finland reportedly closed one of its northern border checkpoints before the scheduled time along the Finnish–Russian border. According to Russian media, due to the closure, asylum seekers could not enter the country.[13]
  • On 12 December 2015, Finnish Interior Minister Petteri Orpo announced that if the external borders of EU cannot be fixed, then Schengen, Dublin and in a way whole EU is under serious threat. Further he noted that Finland has imprisoned two asylum seekers, suing them for 11 cases of murder. According to Orpo, because of the failure in registering asylum seekers on the external borders, they can travel all the way to Finland via northern Sweden. He noted that border controls have been improved in harbors, airports and on land border crossings with Sweden.[14][15][16]

Chronology of 2016[edit]

  • On 2 January 2016 it was reported, that Finland had issued a command for the Finnlines ferry crossing from Germany to Finland to refuse boarding asylum seekers without visa. German NGOs criticized the decision, and it was still unclear how it could be enforced, especially as a direct visa from Germany to Finland is not available.[17]
  • On 23 January 2016 it was reported, that Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini concluded that "closing the eastern border is possible". He stated that if an asylum seeker does not have need for protection, they will lose their money and get themselves deported. As Finland was struggling with a declining economy and increasing unemployment, he noted that resources of police forces, border control, security "need to be organized".[18] On 24 January, YLE, Finland's national public-broadcasting company, reported that a Russian border guard had admitted that the Federal Security Service was enabling migrants to enter Finland.[19]
  • On 23 February the Finnish press reported that the profile of national origin of asylum seekers had changed, with a rise of Indian and Bangladeshi asylum seekers, so that the third largest group of asylum seekers after Afghans and Iraqis were Indians, the fourth Syrians and the fifth Bangladeshis.[20]

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topic Finland : Henriikka Roo, Finnish New Zealanders, Partisaani, Education in Finland, Finnish Brazilians, Kesäkeitto
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  • Timeline of the European migrant crisis
  • A Moment in the Reeds, 2017 film


  1. Sami Koski (13 September 2015). "Turvapaikanhakijoiden määrä räjähti Torniossa: "Satoja tullut tänään"". Iltalehti. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  2. Olli Waris (14 September 2015). "Viime viikolla ennätyksellinen määrä turvapaikanhakijoita". Iltalehti. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Interior Ministry: Finland set to reject two thirds of asylum seekers". YLE. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Reception centres use containers to house new arrivals". YLE. 28 November 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  5. "Turvapaikkahakemusten käsittelyajat venyvät – "Täällä on tuhansia turvapaikanhakijoita monta vuotta"". YLE. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  6. "Eurajoki resorting to containers to house asylum seekers". YLE. 13 November 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Disappointed Iraqis cancel asylum applications". YLE. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  8. "Finland adopts one-stop approach to slash asylum processing queues". YLE. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  9. "Finland Suggests That Russia Prohibits Bicycle Crossings of Mutual Border". Sputnik. 22 November 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  10. "Border Guard: Rise in Syrians entering Finland illegally through Russia". YLE. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  11. "Finland prohibits crossing border with Russia on bikes - media". TASS. 27 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  12. "Interior Minister: Finland to set up asylum seeker repatriation centres". YLE. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  13. "TASS: World - Finnish border guards block 15 Mideast, African immigrants in Russia's Murmansk region". TASS. 5 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  14. Markku Saarinen (12 December 2015). "Orpo Ylellä: EU:lla kriittiset hetket keväällä - "Schengen vakavasti uhattuna"". Iltalehti. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  15. Olli Waris (12 December 2015). "11 murhasta epäillyt kaksoset: oikeudenkäynti Suomessa". Iltalehti. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  16. Antti Honkamaa (12 December 2015). "Ministeri Orpo Ylellä: Tämän takia Isis-murhaajiksi epäillyt onnistuivat tulemaan Suomeen". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  17. Maria Gestrin-Hagner (2 January 2016). "Visumkrav satte stopp för flyktingar från Tyskland". Hbl.fi - Finlands ledande nyhetssajt på svenska. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  18. Maarit Simoska (23 January 2016). "Soini: Itärajan sulkeminen on mahdollista - video". Iltalehti. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  19. "Russian border guard to STT: Russian security service behind northeast asylum traffic". YLE. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  20. "Rajalla uusi havainto: turvapaikanhakijoita saapuu Suomeen nyt myös Intiasta". Iltalehti. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2017.

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