Finland Takes Action: Proposed Emergency Legislation to Curb Unauthorized Migration at Russian Border

In a bid to curb illegal asylum seekers, Finland has enacted emergency laws along its border with Russia due to political tensions stemming from the Ukraine conflict. Last year, Finland shut down its 1,340 km boundary to cope with rising migrant numbers from countries like Syria and Somalia. As Finland joined NATO, it accused Moscow of manipulating migration for political gain, a claim Russia refutes, attributing it to Western propaganda. Prime Minister Orpo stressed the necessity of the law for national security, cautioned about potential migrant spikes with warmer weather. He criticized EU laws, hoping Finland’s actions could prompt pan-European solutions. The proposed law recognizes international rights concerns about denying migrants asylum processing, with Orpo assuring temporary and limited use only. Finland pushes for EU exemptions when member nations face deliberate migration pressures for societal destabilization. Despite needing overwhelming parliamentary support, the bill allows pushing back asylum seekers from Russia by border authorities, under specific conditions excluding vulnerable groups. The Council of Europe raised red flags over refugee rights after Finland’s border closure. Dunja Mijatovic, Council Commissioner for Human Rights, emphasized respecting rights in challenging border scenarios, highlighting asylum seeking rights compromise and non-refoulement principle breach from complete border closure. Reports indicate Russia recruiting stranded migrants, including Somalis, at the border for combat roles in Ukraine. Human rights organizations express concern over migrants coerced into the Russian military for remuneration, healthcare, and residency permits. Mijatovic urged Finland’s Interior Minister, Mari Rantanen, to ensure proper asylum procedures and halt pushbacks, advocating for comprehensive support to unseen vulnerable individuals.

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