Prevention of human trafficking
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health aims to prevent social problems caused by trafficking in human beings and to identify and help victims. The Ministry’s responsibilities include ensuring that victims of trafficking receive the health and social services they need from their municipality of residence.
Trafficking in human beings is a criminal activity where persons are recruited, transported or received for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation can mean prostitution or other sexual abuse or forced labour, even organ trade.
Finland is both a transit country and a destination of international human trafficking, but there are also Finnish victims of trafficking.
Support for human trafficking victims
Victims of human trafficking are by law entitled to assistance and protection irrespective of their residence status in Finland. Vulnerable and traumatised victims, who are poorly acquainted with the Finnish society, may need very concrete forms of help and support. They can receive health and social services, such as psychosocial support and therapy, and help in finding housing and legal aid.
Municipalities are responsible for organising support to those victims who are their official residents. Trafficking victims’ municipalities of residence can apply for reimbursement for the extraordinary costs of organising support from the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.
There is a national assistance system for victims of human trafficking, which operates as part of the Finnish Immigration Service. It gives advice and instructions on matters concerning human trafficking. The telephone helpline (+358 2954 63177) is open 24 hours a day.
The national assistance system for victims of human trafficking is responsible for helping victims who have no municipality of residence in Finland.
- National assistance system for victims of human trafficking
- Guidance for early identification of victims of human trafficking (International Organization for Migration) (in Finnish)
- Helping victims of human trafficking (Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities) (in Finnish)
- Foreign employee (Työsuojelu.fi)
- Guidelines-for-Municipalities – Stepping up local action against human trafficking (In Finnish)
- Report of the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI) (In Finnish)
Regulations on assistance to victims of human trafficking
- Act on the Reception of Persons Applying for International Protection and on Identifying and Assisting Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings (Finlex) (available in Finnish and Swedish)
- Act amending the Act on the Reception of Persons Applying for International Protection (Finlex) (available in Finnish and Swedish)
- Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims (EUR-Lex)
- Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration 1386/2010 (Finlex)
- Aliens Act 301/2004 (Finlex)
Other ministries’ responsibilities in preventing human trafficking
The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for immigration, residence permits and reception centres. The reception centres are responsible for helping victims of human trafficking.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the integration of immigrants and related measures.
The Non-discrimination Ombudsman (former Ombudsman for Minorities) monitors and reports on human trafficking trends in Finland.
- Human trafficking (Ministry of the Interior)
- Government Action Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings 2016-2017 (Ministry of the Interior)
- Integration of immigrants (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)
- Non-Discrimination Ombudsman
- National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings – Report 2014 (Non-discrimination Ombudsman) (in Finnish)
Heidi Manns-Haatanen, Ministerial Adviser
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Hyvinvointi- ja palveluosasto / HPO, Asiakkuus ja toimintaympäristö -yksikkö / ASTO, Hyvinvoinnin- ja terveydensuojelu -tulosryhmä / HYT