A trained group dedicated to supporting migrants who are resettled from camps into a host community.
Volunteers trained by the Finnish Red Cross welcome migrants that are resettled, accompany them to receiving municipalities, and support their integration. Finland has had a resettlement programme since 1979; in 2015, 1,050 people were resettled. The Finnish Red Cross plays an important role in the initial integration process for the migrants. Prior to arrival migrants are provided orientation, including basic language training, by IOM. When they enter Finland, up to 17 volunteers with years of experience and training meet them at the airport and facilitate entry. Volunteers help them with immigration authorities. The Finnish Red Cross has developed a good relationship with border control authorities and leverage this relationship to make sure incoming migrants under this programme are processed without problems. For example, the volunteers share information with the immigration officials on who is expected on a given day; this allows advance preparation of the necessary procedures. In addition, the volunteers serve as a go-between and explain to migrants what to expect. Volunteers are also provided with information on any urgent health needs for arriving migrants and make the necessary preparations on the ground prior to their arrival.
After airport formalities are completed, volunteers then transport the migrants to the municipalities. Authorities in the municipalities are provided with information on expected arrivals in advance. Volunteers help these migrants with the initial process of moving into their homes and remain involved during integration.
Last year the Finnish Red Cross helped welcome 1,050 migrants at the airport into Finland.
Design. [P1] Focused on vulnerabilities of migrants coming into a country without relevant information or knowledge.
Implementation. [P6] Works together with IOM on pre-departure, and with municipalities post arrival. [P7] Works along migratory trail.
- Challenging for needs based assessments to be done by volunteers.
- Providing equal quality at the reception to every refugee who arrives through the resettlement programme.
- Frequent communication with volunteers and municipalities post-reception ensures that all relevant matters are discussed and addressed.
About the report
People migrate in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families. As described in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Policy on Migration, “migrants are persons who leave or flee their habitual residence to go to new places – usually abroad – to seek opportunities or safer and better prospects.