ABOUT US

The Finnish Refugee Council is Finland’s largest expert organisation focusing on refugee and migration issues. Every year we support thousands of people in recovering from conflicts and integrating into new societies. For over 50 years our work has positively impacted lives in Finland as well as in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

In order to successfully implement our work, we continuously develop our expertise-based and focused way of working and follow good governance. Our work is enabled by a comprehensive and well-functioning cooperation network.

Mission

We support the fulfilment of refugees’
and migrants’ rights, and their equal participation in society and as members and builders of societies.

Vision

Refugees and migrants are equal, participating
members of their societies, and their fundamental
rights are realised in a positive atmosphere of
attitudes.

Values

Fairness
Inclusion and equality
Transparency and responsibility

Cross-cutting themes

The work of the Finnish Refugee Council is defined by four cross-cutting themes. These themes guide all our activities, both in Finland as well as in our international operations.

Rights of refugees and migrants

The Finnish Refugee Council is an expert organisation focusing on immigration politics based on human rights and integration. We advocate a system of protection in accordance with UN and international law and recommendations, where everyone has the right to seek protection. Refugee or migration background does not justify denying public services. Special attention must be paid to the access of immigrants to the service system, and the structures of society must support effective integration.

Strengthening resilience

Refugees are in a vulnerable position all over the world. Family, work and school are often left behind to the old homeland. In addition, fleeing is often a traumatic experience. The Finnish Refugee Council brings hopefulness and motivation to the lives of those who have had to flee. The concrete skills we provide, such as literacy, language skills, life skills, entrepreneurship and knowledge about the society, strengthen refugees’ resilience in the new community.

Equal social participation

A person with a refugee or immigrant background wants to be an equal part of their new community. The Finnish Refugee Council creates possibilities for active citizenship for those who are not yet familiar with the civil society of the new country. We provide support for both organisations working with immigrants as well as joint actions by refugees, migrants and local residents.

Adaptation of the entire community

The Finnish Refugee Council contributes to good relations between population groups. In Finland and in our international operations, immigrants must adapt to new situations, but also the host community has to adapt. We work to ensure that integration into the new community runs smoothly through consensus and interaction. We influence the attitude of atmosphere in the host countries of refugees and migrants in order to create an environment that is positive, compassionate and respectful of human rights.

These themes serve as guidelines in all our work, whether supporting individuals, influencing changes in institutional systems or executing political advocacy.

THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

The Executive Board of decides on the major policies of the Finnish Refugee Council. In addition to the Chairperson, the Executive Board may have between 8 and 12 members. The Executive Board and the Chairperson are elected for two years at a time and the Executive Board meets approximately ten times a year.
 
The Executive Board of the Finnish Refugee Council for 2018–2019:
 
The Chairperson of the Executive Board: Marjatta Rasi
The members of the Executive Board: Pekka Sauri, Irma Ertman, Anna Erkkilä, Juha Klemola, Sofia Nevalainen, Sari Koivuniemi, Eija Pitkänen, Mikko Laakkonen and Jyrki Sipilä.

Personnel

The most important resource of the Finnish Refugee Council is its professional staff. The Finnish Refugee Council is an equal employer with a very diverse staff working in Finland and in the international operations. The staff of the country offices is hired locally, with the exception of the Country Directors.

In the end of 2018, the total number of personnel was 130, of whom 43 were employed in Finland and 87 abroad.

Graph presenting the Finnish Refugee Council’s division of staff by country. The Finnish Refugee Council has staff in Finland, Uganda and Myanmar.
Graph presenting the Finnish Refugee Council’s funding. In 2018, the Finnish Refugee Council was funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA), Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), Kone Foundation, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and donations.

Finance

In 2018, the total funding of the Finnish Refugee Council was a little under EUR 4 million. The Finnish Refugee Council aims to broaden its financial base and continuously improves the efficiency, transparency and risk management of its administration.

Read more about our activities from our Annual Report.

Main donors and partners

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, With support from Finland's development cooperation
ASYLUM, MIGRATION AND INTEGRATION FUND, AMIF, Supported by The European Union
Kone Foundation
Kaikille eväät elämään
Veikkaus, Supported with proceeds from Veikkaus
Tabella logo
Council of Europe Development Bank
UK aid from the British people