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Migration Institute report highlights development needs for authorities to better prevent exploitation of foreign labour 

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 11.1.2022 11.21
Press release
The hand of a man signing a contract.

The exploitation of foreign labour is expected to grow in Finland as work-based immigration increases. Preventing problems requires more information on exploitation-related phenomena and investments in the resources and cooperation between authorities. 

In spring 2021, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment commissioned a report from the Migration Institute of Finland on the support needs and knowledge gaps of the authorities in preventing exploitation of foreign labour. The report supports in particular the implementation of the amendment to the Aliens Act (554/2021) in the Finnish Immigration Service. The amendment entered into force on 1 October 2021. 

The Aliens Act was amended to include new, special permit types for victims of work-related exploitation. This means that the Finnish Immigration Service will receive new tasks and the administrative and legal practices related to them will only develop over time.

“Promoting labour migration also requires effective measures to combat exploitation. The Immigration Service will need all possible support to succeed in this demanding task. The Migration Institute’s report highlights areas of development and in this way facilitates authorities’ work,” says Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen.

Supervision alone is not enough

The report identifies a number of development needs for the authorities to improve their work. 

A key conclusion is that the internationalisation of the labour market and the legislative amendment underline the increased role of the authorities in safeguarding the rights of foreign workers, in contrast to mere licensing and supervision duties. Building trust between the victims of exploitation and authorities will encourage victims to report suspected abuse to the authorities without any unnecessary fear. 

“The authorities possess a great deal of specialised expertise in the prevention of work-related exploitation, but expanding and improving these activities nationally require that different authorities streamline their operating models and establish clear objectives,” says Mika Raunio, Senior Researcher at the Migration Institute. 

The proposed measures will be evaluated and prepared for implementation in the relevant administrative branches to support the prevention of the exploitation of foreign labour as well as possible. 

Iiris Niinikoski, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 295 047 372 0295 047 372
Olli Sorainen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 396 0162
Mika Raunio, Senior Researcher, Migration Institute of Finland, tel. + 358 50 327 6364

Nykyinen hallitus Tuula Haatainen
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