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Likhetsprincipper i utlänkgslagstiftningen

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image of Nordic Journal of International Law

1. Finland hosts today fewer refugees and other aliens than other Nordic countries, and the majority of the refugees are Chileans. This marked difference from the other Nordic countries is due to various factors: the geographical position on the fringe of Europe and on the border of the Soviet Union, economic problems and language difficulties. Finish law does not provide for a legal right of asylum, only for a legal possibility of asylum. Any claim for asylum is decided by administrative bodies with no recourse to pudicial remidies. 2. To a large extent aliens share the same rights as Finish citizens, but there are differences: a) The right to entry, sojourn and work are decided by administrative bodies, who apply a very restrictive policy. b) Aliens lack certain rights to political participation (Scandinavian aliens do however have such rights in this field), right to join the civil service, and there are serious limits to their right to process real estate and to carry on trade. c) The fact that there is no central administration of aliens affairs adds to this poor position of aliens. 3. Basically there is no differentation between refugees and other aliens. They share the same lack of procedual safeguards: Residence permit is given for 6 months or a year at a time, there is no right of appeal, decisions are not motivated. Refugees are given ordinary aliens passports and not a Convention Travel Document nor any documentation that they do in fact enjoy political asylum. There is no legal protection against refoulement. There is considerable doubt as to whether the agreement between Finland and the Soviet Union on co-operation against hijacking of airplanes of 1975, and the frontier agreement with the Soviet Union of 1960, leave an effective possibility of giving political asylum to people who fall under the two agreements. To sum up: There is in Finish law a differentiation between Scandinavians and other aliens, a potential but not necessarily a factual difference between ordinary aliens, and political refugees and finally a difference between political refugees from the Soviet Union and other political refugees. 4. Some proposals for improvement of the legal position of aliens: i) Aliens affairs should be separated from the police and should be handled by a central body with responsibility for social and economic as well as legal affairs. ii) After a while aliens should receive permanent residence and work permits. iii) Procedual guarantees should be reinforced in particular: contradiction, right of appeal, judicial remedies, legal council. iv) Administrative detention should be abolished. v) Full political participation at municipal and procincial level should be provided for. Particularly in relation to political refugees: i) Their affairs should be handled by a central body with responsibility for social affairs such as housing, teaching of language, work, information of legal rights and duties etc. ii) Refugee quotas according to the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish models should be adopted. iii) Refugees should be informed of the status when granted political asylum and issued convention travel documents. iv) Provisions on non-refoulement in accordance with international law should be established. v) Political asylum should be established as a legal right with procedual guarantees. Finally it is suggested to appoint a nordic ombudsman for refugees in co-operation with UNHCR.


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