Asylum seekers in Finland suffer from loneliness and boredom

Asylum seekers in Finland are likely to suffer from loneliness and boredom at reception centres, according to a Finnish Immigration Service survey. The survey saw almost 700 asylum seekers questioned at 17 reception centres across Finland.

It found that boredom and loneliness were the biggest issues among asylum seekers, and that they also craved social interaction with people other than workers in the centres.

However, the survey found that those questioned thought conditions at the centres were safe, while staff were respectful and friendly. The Immigration Service’s chief inspector Olli Snellman said that he believes the reception centres are capable of taking care of basic factors that can improve the welfare of asylum seekers in what are difficult situations.

Of the people surveyed, around 70 per cent were males while 30 per cent were females. The women tended to answer more favourably about their experiences at Finnish reception centres.

Snellman highlighted recreational activity programmes as the main area of development the reception centres should focus on as well as arranging contact with local people from outside the centres.

He noted that football games that took place earlier in the year between local teams and asylum seekers as a good example of integrating the new arrivals, fighting racism and introducing recreational opportunities.