Responding to the Global Detention Project’s Covid-19 survey, the Finnish Parliamentary Ombudsman, which also acts as National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) for the country, reported that Finland has not established a moratorium on new immigration detention orders. However, according to the police, the threshold for immigration detention has been higher than usual. The Ombudsman indicated that detention is mainly ordered for reasons related to order and security (crime-related cases) and individual circumstances. While the Ombudsman reported that some persons have been released from immigration detention by police or court decisions and that an action plan was established to protect detainees and staff from Covid-19 infection, the office did not have information regarding measures taken for those released detainees. Immigration detainees reportedly go through a medical check upon arrival to the detention centre and if needed, they are tested for Covid-19.
As regards deportations, the Ombudsman said that not all removals have been halted. Only removals requiring police escorts were halted until 1 June 2020 and Dublin removals were halted until 13 May 2020. The Ombudsman also said that authorities have drafted new immigration, asylum and border control policies, action plans and guidelines in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
- Parliamentary Ombudsman of Finland / NPM of Finland (Jari Pirjola), Global Detention Project Covid-19 Survey, 8 June 2020.
- Joutseno Immigration Detention Centre, (Jessica Stolzmann, Asylsökande bakom lås och bom i gammalt fängelse, Yle, 28 October 2014, https://svenska.yle.fi/artikel/2014/10/28/asylsokande-bakom-las-och-bom-i-gammalt-fangelse)