Help offered by the Assistance system
The services provided by the Assistance system for victims of human trafficking are based on law. A potential trafficking victim has a right to receive these services. However, victims can decide whether they want the services, and they are never forced to accept them.
The Assistance system provides victims with free personalised services
Based on an assessment of the need for personalised support, a trafficking victim has a right to receive the following services:
- Safe housing - depending on the victim’s situation, the victim may be housed in a shelter, or the safety of the victim’s current home may be improved. The Assistance system works with the police to safeguard trafficking victims.
- Health care - medical help for problems with physical and mental health, including therapy and substance abuse services, where these are deemed necessary
- Social services - guidance and support for coping with daily life and on making life plans
- Reception allowance or social assistance - financial help for people with no income
- Statutory legal aid and legal advice - victims will receive legal advice and information about their rights. If necessary, victims will be given help to find a legal aid counsel.
- Interpreting and translating - victims will be given help in the language they understand.
- Support person - victims may be given a support person to help them during the criminal process. The support persons are usually provided by the Victim Support Finland. Support persons are trained to support victims of crime and their loved ones.
- Tracing a missing parent or guardian of a child victim - the Assistance system will check with the child and their representative whether they think the missing guardian should be found before the tracing is begun. The Finnish Immigration Service will trace the missing person. Tracing will not be carried out if it is not thought to be in the child’s best interest or if it endangers the child’s safety.
Victims who are foreign nationals can also access the following services
- Assisted voluntary return - if the victims wishes to return to their home country and seeks assistance.
- Support for applying for the residence permit - the Assistance system guides and helps the victims with questions related to their stay.
If trafficking victims are staying in Finland illegally, the Assistance system can offer them a reflection period, which legalises stay in Finland for a maximum of 6 months.