Since 2015 refugee protection, asylum policy, the situation of the undocumented, forced returns and social polarisation have emerged as recurrent topics in the Finnish public and political debates. Societal developments and discourses affect people’s lives and their feelings of security and belonging in many ways. This became blatantly clear after the Turku attack, 18th August 2017. The position and rights of asylum seekers, both those in the process and those with a final negative decision, have become topics of heated debate. Besides newcomers in the society, these debates are reflected also on people who have received a refugee status, or who might have formal citizenship.

The seminar responds to a need to create a space to discuss what is happening in the field of refugee protection and how these developments affect not only individual lives, but also community relations. To explore the connections between these spheres, the seminar brings migrants, asylum seekers and refugees together with decision-makers, professionals and experts on integration and human rights. The talks and commentaries offer insight into how asylum seekers, refugees and migrants claim their place in society. The final session of the seminar addresses the human rights effects of current developments and sheds light on Finnish asylum policy from a human rights perspective.

Lempiö, Heidi. Office of the Non-discrimination Ombudsman, “Human Rights approach to Refugee Protection and  Asylum Policy”

Halla, Tapio. Psychiatric Clinic for Immigrants, City of Tampere. “Traumatised Refugees and Daily Functioning”

Luhtasaari, Mia. Ministry of Justice. “The Safety Discourse’s Effects on Good Relations and Migrants”

Väkiparta, Kaisa, Amnesty International. “Asylum seekers’ human rights: do they exist in Finland?”