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Home NATIONALRights groups slam detention of minor asylum seekers
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Tue, 14 Oct, 2014 12:34:33 AM
Draft law keeps provision for detention in place
FTimes -STT Report, Oct. 14
 
Hallway of Metsälä center in Helsinki on n 9 October 2014. Photo – Str / Lehtikuva.
Human rights groups have criticised a draft law which does not completely rule out detention of underage asylum seekers.
 
Unaccompanied asylum seekers between the ages of 15 and 18 can be detained for up to six days, according to the draft.
 
Harri Sivula, an interior ministry official, said they did not intend to scrap the provision for detaining minors.
 
“We have 1-2 cases annually where detention of minors is necessary,” said Sivula.
 
According to Sivula, such is the case with people whose applications for residence permits have been rejected.
 
Metsälä detention center in Helsinki on 9 October 2014. Photo – Str / Lehtikuva.
Statistics from the Metsälä detention unit reveal that there were a total of 41 minors at the facility last year and 10 of them were unaccompanied.
 
Another detention unit, a 30-bed facility, will be opened this year in Joutseno. Around 440 people were held at the Metsälä detention unit last year.
 
Foreigners are detained to ensure their deportation or during the examination of their identity.
 
 
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