The Finnish government says it has agreed to take in up to 175 asylum-seekers from camps in Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta “to alleviate the humanitarian situation” experienced by refugees in the Mediterranean members of the European Union.
The Finnish interior ministry said Saturday in a statement that the Nordic country of 5.5 million would wish to bring in primarily “vulnerable asylum-seekers” — children and single-parent families eligible for international protection from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan.
The ministry didn’t provide a schedule but said asylum-seekers would be picked from the four nations “depending on where the situation is the most serious.”
“It is important that Finland, as the EU’s external border state (through its long border with Russia), is involved in finding solutions both to the acute situation (in the Mediterranean Sea) and how to create a sustainable European asylum system,” said Finnish Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo.
Several EU nations have been making good on pledges to share the migrant burden, since agreeing on being proactive at a conference in Malta last year.
According to a bi-weekly report compiled by the Labor Ministry’s National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA), an estimated 5,463 unaccompanied refugee children were living in Greece at the end of January.
Sourced by: Associated Press