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Govt to update action plan for preventing illegal entry, residence

Published : 12 Sep 2020, 00:07

Updated : 12 Sep 2020, 23:39

  DF Report

Press Release Photo by the Ministry of the Interior.

The interior ministry has launched an update of an action plan for preventing illegal entry and residence for 2021–2024, said an official press release on Friday.

Along with the issues in the previous action plans, the new action plan will also examine the status of those residing in the country without a residence permit, the phenomena of abuse associated with them, and the status of human trafficking victims.

“The action plan will seek ways to prevent the emergence of a shadow society. We need to pay particular attention to vulnerable people, such as victims of human trafficking. People who reside in the country without a residence permit are particularly at risk of becoming excluded and being exploited by criminals or crime groups. If a young person has no hope for the future, he or she can also become more easily excluded from society and turn to criminal activity,” said Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo.

Besides strategic guidelines, the action plan will aim to promote concrete measures to prevent people from staying in the country without a legal right of residence. Such measures would include proactive measures in countries of origin and transit as well as support for return to the home country and reintegration.

In addition, the action plan will take into consideration the work being done by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on the status of victims of human trafficking, and the work being carried out by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to prevent the exploitation of foreign workers.

The previous action plan for preventing illegal entry and residence, the third of its kind, was drawn up for 2017–2020.

The action plan focused on the changes in the operating environment brought about by the rapid increase in the number of asylum seekers arriving in 2015–2016 and the challenges posed by these changes. It was agreed in the Government Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin that the action plan would be updated.

The update of the action plan is due to be completed on 31 December 2020.

The interior ministry has invited representatives of the foreign ministry, the justice ministry, social affairs and health ministry the economic affairs and employment ministry, the Finnish Immigration Service and the National Police Board to join in the preparations for the action plan. Other experts will also be consulted in the work.