The Finnish Refugee Council (FRC) is a Finland-based international non-governmental organization with no political or religious affiliations. For nearly 60 years FRC has been securing the rights of refugees and supports the new beginnings and resilience of the forcibly displaced and conflict-affected communities in different countries.

Currently, FRC has programmes in Myanmar, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Finland.

Finnish Refugee Council is the official communication and liaison partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Finland.

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.


The Finnish Refugee Council is a trusted and internationally active party, and an effective expert in forced displacement in its many forms. With our support, both those who have been forced to flee, as well as hosting countries, are able to build a sustainable and humane foundation
for life.


We secure the rights and protection of people who have been displaced and we enhance their ability to survive and build peace.


Human rights and inclusion
Sustainability and equality
Responsibility and expertise


The Executive Board 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 2022–2023:
The Chairperson of the Executive Board: Liisa Jaakonsaari
The members of the Executive Board: Maria Bernas-Hilli, Irma Ertman, Reija Tuomisalo, Lea Rankinen, Anne Rasskasov, Kansalaisopistojen Liitto, Hannu Kyröläinen, Mojtaba Quanezadehia and Merja Vihersalo
The alternate members of the Executive Board: Ramieza Mahdi and Ulla-Maija Finskas


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 2022, the total number of personnel was 248, of whom 41 were employed in Finland and 207 abroad.

Chart of Finnish Refugee Council's staff in 2022.
Chart of Finnish Refugee Council's funding in 2022.


In 2022, the total funding of the Finnish Refugee Council was a little under EUR 7 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.

The European Commission has awarded the Finnish Refugee Council with the certificate for EU humanitarian partnership covering 2021–2027. Read the certificate here.

Main donors and partners

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, With support from Finland's development cooperation
MHF logo
Kaikille eväät elämään
Council of Europe Development Bank
Lift logo
Tabella logo
Fingo, Frame Voice Report, EU
UNFPA logo