After the Assistance system receives a referral
After the Assistance system has received a referral, it will assess the victim’s situation. The Assistance system may ask the person who made the referral, the victim or the authorities for further information on the victim’s situation and circumstances.
Notwithstanding the secrecy provisions, the Assistance system has a statutory right to receive the necessary information from the Finnish Immigration Service, the Ministry of the Interior, a pre-trial investigation authority, a reception centre or a registration centre for making a decision. This right to access information ensures that the Assistance system has as much information about the victim’s circumstances as possible and it can also prepare for any potentially dangerous situations.
In some cases, the Assistance system’s worker will meet the potential victim before the decision is made. The Assistance system’s workers have received training for encountering victims who may sometimes be extremely traumatised and to work in multicultural settings.
The Assistance system will make admittance decisions independently
The Assistance system will make the decision on whether to admit a person. The Assistance system may also grant the victim a reflection period if they are in Finland illegally.
The Assistance system may admit a person if it thinks that the person has fallen victim to human trafficking and is therefore in need of help. Both criteria must be met - it would not be useful to help a person who does not need help.
The Assistance system will inform the person of the decision. The person who made the referral may also be informed of the decision (yes/no), but they might not have the right to know any other content of the decision.
Next the Assistance system will map the new customer's service needs and a worker from the Assistance system may meet the new customer. In urgent situations services are given to the customer after an oral decision made over the phone. Often in these cases the new customer urgently requires safe housing, and the Assistance system will start working on acquiring it immediately.
The Assistance does not notify the police
Assistance workers will talk with the customer about how the customer would like to proceed, and about the possible outcomes of choosing different paths of action. The customer does not have to report the trafficking crime to the police, and the Assistance system does not have a duty to inform the police of the customer.
Assistance is available to victims who wish to report the crime of trafficking to the police as well as to those, who never wish to report it. It is, however, possible that in some cases the refusal of the customer to report the crime within a reasonable time may affect how long they can receive services from the Assistance system. What is considered a reasonable time depends on the individual customer’s mental and physical wellbeing and other circumstances.
The Assistance system ensures that the customer will get a legal aid counsel and a support person for the criminal process, when these are needed. The Assistance system will also support the customer in communicating with the authorities.
The Assistance system will support and protect the customer in cooperation with the pre-trial investigation authority (police/Border Guard).