Afghan asylum seeker: Begging for food from other asylum seekers

by , under Hussain Kazemian

Based on the Finnish Immigration Service webpage (Living in a reception center), there are different kinds of reception centers in Finland. The first type offers meals and in the second type, the asylum seekers cook their own meals.  

In both cases, each resident has access to social and health services, to interpreters, different work and study activities. While each asylum seeker is given spending money each month, it is a different story for some Afghan asylum seekers. Most of these types of services are nonesxistent as well.

Said an Afghan asylum seeker, who spoke on condition of anonymity: “I was working part-time in the Uusimaa region for two years. The reception center did not pay me any spending money while working that I was entitled to receive based on Migri [the Finnish Immigration Service] guidelines.”

The asylum seeker said that he had only worked one month since November and received 1,500 euros from his last job.

“But I spent all that money,” he continued. “I have no job and no money since January 2019 because the reception center does not want to pay me for the five months I did not get paid.”

The asylum seeker said that he had the right to a free meal at the Vantaa reception center but after being transferred to Kajaani, located 548km north of Vantaa, he has had “to beg” for food from other asylum seekers.

“I have asked an employee of the reception center why they don’t pay me for the five months they owe me?” he said. “’You will get paid the next month,’ the employee answered. Both reception centers are sweeping the problem under the rug.”

The asylum seeker said that begging for food at the reception center was a breach of his basic rights in Finland.