Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen has hinted that Finland could pay asylum seekers to leave the country after figures revealed a ten-fold rise in people that were able to avoid deportation due to current regulations.
The government is considering changing the laws to close a loophole that allows failed asylum seekers to remain in the country. Under current regulations, some individuals who have been turned down for asylum can remain in Finland if their country of origin only accepts ‘voluntary returnees’.
According to the Interior Ministry, some 700 rejected asylum seekers could be able to claim Finnish residence permits due to the fact that their home countries refuse to accept forced deportees.
Rasanen noted that there has been a 10-fold increase in the number of rejected asylum seekers in this position in the past year. She claimed that such a situation could also attract more people to Finland as they will be aware they cannot be deported.
Some MPs have supported a proposal to offer money to failed asylum seekers to voluntarily return to their homeland, which they say would cost the state less than allowing them to stay in Finland would.
Rasanen, who was speaking in Lappeenranta during the opening of the country’s second detention centre, said the amounts of payments has yet to be agreed. She explained that they are not going to offer large sums, but a figure that is enough to give someone the chance to restart life in their homeland. She added that they had already piloted the method and had successful results.