The Integration of Syrian Refugees into Finland
Al Tawalbeh, Husam Khalil (2020)
Al Tawalbeh, Husam Khalil
Politiikan tutkimuksen maisteriohjelma - Master's Programme in Politics
Johtamisen ja talouden tiedekunta - Faculty of Management and Business
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Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Finland received many Syrian refugees over the past years. This reception was linked to consequences of the war and absence of prospects for a political solution in Syria. As a result, Finland took a series of measures to promote the integration of new arrivals into Finnish society. Our thesis main topic is the integration of Syrian refugees into Finland. Thesis tried to answer the following key research question (What kind of integration process do Syrian refugees have into Finnish society). We answered research question by looking at experiences of the integration process for twenty Syrian refugees in Finland. Moreover, believing that integration is a shared responsibility between refugee and host society. We aimed to concentrate on experiences of nine officials working on promoting integration of Syrian refugees. Then, we focused on identifying stages and services of the integration process. Furthermore, we tried to monitor the difficulties facing both Syrian refugees and the officials involved in the integration process. The goals are both to find possible solutions to these difficulties and to achieve more efficient and effective integration. For that end, qualitative interviews were done for collecting primary data and qualitative content analysis for analysing it. We found that process of integrating Syrian refugees goes through successive stages, beginning with providing necessary social services for refugee stability. Then, setting the integration plan, which is a right for every refugee. Learning Finnish and strengthening it by work trainings was the second stage. Trainings left positive impact on the speed of integration of refugees. The third stage essence was directing the refugee towards a profession or university education to qualify him for access to labor market. In terms of services, the vast majority of refugees received equal services compared to Finns, sometimes better. There was recognition by refugees of respecting their religious freedoms. Some Syrian refugees succeeded in integrating into Finnish society, despite the existence of great difficulties, most notably the isolation of Finns from the refugees and the role of the extremist media in increasing hate speech. This thesis focused on the official framework of integration of Syrian refugees. Thesis now leaves opportunity open for exploring role of civil society organizations in promoting integration of Syrian refugees.