Non-discrimination and cooperation are a prerequisite for successful integration of immigrants
Immigration to Finland has increased and become more diverse in recent years. It is important that the needs of the immigrant population are considered in the organisation of public services and that immigrants are offered activities and services helping them to integrate into Finnish society.
Integration is a continuous two-way process in which society is changing as the population is becoming more diverse and immigrants acquire knowledge and skills that they need in society and working life. This requires commitment on the part of the immigrants and the country receiving them.
In addition to the official measures, integration can be promoted in everyday situations and local communities, such as daycare centres, schools, leisure activities and workplaces.
Good ethnic relations help immigrant integration and strengthen social cohesion. Integration can only succeed if everybody is committed to non-discrimination and immigrants are accepted as members of society.
Integration involves broad-based cooperation
Under the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration, which entered into force in 2011, authorities must develop multi-sectoral cooperation as part of the integration process.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the integration of immigrants, integration legislation and promotion of employment among immigrants. Minister of Justice and Employment Jari Lindström is the minister responsible for integration matters.
For more information about integration, go to the kotouttaminen.fi website
The task of the Centre of Expertise in Integration of Immigrants, which comes under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, is to support the work helping immigrants to integrate into Finnish society.
Centre of Expertise in Integration of Immigrants
- compiles and distributes research, statistical and indicator data as the basis for the planning and implementation of integration and promotes the assessment of effectiveness of the activities,
- disseminates good practices and organises events for professionals meeting immigrants as part of their work in which they can strengthen their expertise,
- develops useful work processes and cooperation networks.
The kotouttaminen.fi website maintained by the Centre of Expertise in Integration of Immigrants provides up-to-date information about integration and the reception of refugees. The website is only available in Finnish and Swedish.
Sonja Hämäläinen, sonja.hamalainen(at)tem.fi