EMN Finland Conference – video recordings and a conference report published!
The conferece was held in Helsinki on 10 November 2023. The aim of the conference was to promote dialogue between different actors and to find new perspectives on how to develop the assessment of the best interests of the child in migration processes.
Video recordings of the presentations are now available(siirryt toiseen palveluun)
The aim of the event was to promote dialogue between different actors and to find new perspectives on how to develop the assessment of the best interests of the child in migration processes. A wide range of speakers were invited to the event: representatives of authorities and organisations, Finnish and international researchers and young immigrants.
Download the conference concept note, programme and speaker biographies.
A detailed summary of the conference can be found in the conferece report.
Video recordings of the presentations(siirryt toiseen palveluun). No interpretation is available for the presentations held in Finnish. The opening of the conference has English subtitles.
Download the speakers’ presentations.
The conference was opened jointly by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior Kirsi Pimiä and the Director General of the Finnish Immigration Service Ilkka Haahtela. The keynote speaker of the conference was Professor Helen Stalford, Head of Law Department at the University of Liverpool, who is a leading expert on children’s rights and has worked with the topic for 25 years. In her keynote, Stalford contemplated ways, in which the principle of the child’s best interests can be bettered from the perspective of both legislation and practice. The keynote comment was given by the Dr. Sanna Mustasaari from the perspective of Finnish researchers.
Claire Rimmer from ICF presented the key findings of the forthcoming EMN report Children in Migration 2021–2022. Rimmer works at ICF, a service provider for the European Migration Network. The presentation was commented by Dr. Anna Schmidt who works as Policy Officer in the Asylum Unit of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs.
The dialogue between the representatives of the Ministry of the Interior and the Finnish Immigration Service focused on the assessment of the child’s best interests in the immigration context in Finland. The representatives of the Ministry of the Interior were Chief Specialists Tuuli Tuunanen and Sanna Montin and the Finnish Immigration Service was represented by Senior Advisers Jasmin Dost and Miira Mikonsaari and Senior Specialist Lydia Laine. The dialogue
s was moderated by the Finnish Immigration Service’s Head of Legal Development Sini Lahdenperä.
24-year-old Kadhum Al-Ghaithawi, who came to Finland as an unaccompanied minor, talked about his experiences of moving into Finland alone and adapting to a new country. Al-Ghaithawi shared the stage with Community Instructor Joonatan Nsukami, who works at the Deaconess Foundation’s Olohuone. Nsukami and Al-Ghaithawi discussed the importance of a community and a support network, especially among young immigrants.
The panel discussion concentrated on questions related to the development of the assessment of the best interests of the child. The panelists were Dr. Sanna Mustasaari, LL.D., from the University of Eastern Finland, Director of Legislative Affairs Riitta Koponen from the Ministry of the Interior, Senior Specialist Taina Martiskainen from the Central Union for Child Welfare, and Public Legal Aid Attorney Suvi Mäntymäki. The panel discussion was moderated by the Chair of the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, Professor Mirjam Kalland.