Finland is offering substantial monetary incentives to migrants in the hopes they will return to their home countries voluntarily.
The Finnish Immigration Service has announced large increases in cash and commodity subsidies for 2019, in some cases double those of 2018 offerings.
Migrants who are unable to fund their return trip home can receive up to 2,000 euros cash and a free plane ticket if they are from a lengthy list of “Group A” countries, which include Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
Alternately, they can opt to receive “commodity support” of as much as 5,000 euros to cover expenses such as “assistance in finding an apartment” or “setting up your own business.”
Additional sums are offered on a per-child basis.
“We want to encourage going home because it is always a cheaper option than returning to the police or staying here illegally,” Tarja Rantala, project manager of the Volunteer Return to Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia project, told YLE.
“We have many in the reception system with many negative decisions and it becomes expensive. One day at the reception center is 50 euros per head, so at 100 days it will already be 5,000 euros.”
YLE reports the Finnish government distributed some 5.3 million euros between 2016 and 2018 in voluntary return support and flights for migrants, the vast majority of whom were Iraqis.
However, a steep drop-off in voluntary returns from 1,422 in 2017 to 646 in 2018 has raised concerns over where rejected asylum seekers are going.
“A significantly larger number – about 7,400 people since 2015 – has simply disappeared,” YLE reports. “They have either stayed in Finland without a residence permit, returned to their home country, or they have left Finland for the rest of Europe.”
“Police data supports the latter. In 2016–2018, more than 5,100 asylum seekers were found in other EU countries. EU countries are trying to return these people to Finland, which is responsible for their removal from the EU.”
An explosive ‘grooming gang’ crisis is currently rocking Finland as a slew of investigations into migrant men sexually abusing children as young as 10 have been opened in the cities of Oulu, Helsinki, and beyond.
See some of our recent reports on Finland here, here, and here.
FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR