Settlement of Ukrainians Receiving Temporary Protection in South Ostrobothnia
The Migration Institute of Finland, Seinäjoki unit, publishes the interim report of the Ukrainian Refugees in South Ostrobothnia -project in downloadable digital format
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine began at the end of February 2022. As a result, millions of Ukrainians have fled the country. There are more than 8 million people who have fled the war to the territory of the European Union alone, of which about half have applied for temporary protection. Only a fraction of those who fled to Europe have arrived in Finland. However, in relation to the population, the share is the highest in the Nordic countries. One year after the start of the war in February 2023, there were approximately 50,000 Ukrainians in Finland.
In the period 8/2022–3/2023, the Seinäjoki unit of the Migration Institute of Finland carried out researched the reception of Ukrainians in South Ostrobothnia. The report produced by the research examines how Ukrainians have arrived in Finland and South Ostrobothnia. The purpose of the report is to shed light on how the South Ostrobothnia network of authorities, together with non-governmental organizations and volunteers, has been successful in welcoming Ukrainians. In addition, the report tells how the Ukrainians themselves have experienced arriving in South Ostrobothnia and what kind of problems they have encountered. The perspective of the report is linked to the challenges of reception. At the same time, however, it should be emphasized that the overall experience in South Ostrobothnia has been positive. Due to the crisis, Finland’s least internationalized province has learned to see both the refugees and its own operational potential in a new light. Concepts related to refugee status have become more diverse. The province has also proven to itself that in exceptional situations it is also capable of exceptional activities.
The report has been financed by the Council of South Ostrobothnia, the Finnish Red Cross and the Migration Institute of Finland. The report was produced in the period 8/2022–3/2023. During 2023, the Migration Institute of Finland will also publish policy recommendations, the purpose of which is to offer ideas for strengthening the province’s resilience. The goal is to increase the province’s crisis resistance and resilience in similar large-scale situations, so that operations are proactive, sustainable and ethical from the perspective of both the receiving region and the newcomers.
– Toni Ahvenainen, Markku Mattila & Olena Temnikova