The Left left fuming….
Proportion of rejected asylum claims doubles
Tightened criteria for granting leave to remain, and a drop in the number of people returning voluntarily, have led to a sharp rise in the rate of negative asylum decisions. Protests are continuing against the government’s assertion that Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan are now safe for many asylum seekers to return to.
Iraqi demonstrators outside parliament on Wednesday brandish photographs of victims of sectarian violence in protest against the government’s claim that the country is now safe for many asylum seekers to return to. Image: Mohammed Rhaif Al Hamzawi
Increasing numbers of asylum seekers are having their claims rejected, meaning they must return to their countries of origin, new figures show.
Statistics from Finland’s Immigration Service show that of almost 10,000 asylum claims processed so far this year, one in four asylum seekers has been granted a positive decision, allowing them to stay in Finland either permanently or temporarily.
However the proportion of rejected claims has risen significantly, doubling from one in six during 2015 to one in three so far this year. By the end of May, 2,843 cases had been rejected outright, meaning neither a residence permit or permanent asylum have been granted.
The rise in negative decisions comes as the government tightens its criteria for granting leave to remain in Finland. Since last autumn the Immigration Service has twice changed its security assessment of three key countries from which Finland’s asylum seekers originate – Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. These countries are now classed as safer than before, meaning more people are being more readily returned.
Immigration Service asylum director Esko Repo admitted that the changed security assessments have affected the outcome of decisions. ”There are currently no areas in Iraq, Somali and Afghanistan from where claimants would be categorically guaranteed to receive protection,” he said.
However he claimed that safety assessments are only one reason for the growth in negative decisions. ”The issue is simply that the criteria for receiving asylum are not being fulfilled,” he said.
The tougher stance has caused concern among organisations and asylum seekers who dispute the government’s claim that the countries are now safe enough to return to. On Wednesday this week a group of around 60 Iraqi asylum seekers protested outside parliament against the forced return of rejected asylum seekers to the country.