The land of a thousand refused asylum seekers – the state of resources, coping strategies and prospects for the future: experiences of refused asylum seekers living in Finland

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för socialt arbete

Sammanfattning: The aim of the thesis was to examine the experiences of refused asylum seekers in Finland byfinding out their state of resources, coping strategies and prospects for the future. In addition,the thesis considered the respondents’ messages to Finnish decision-makers. In this thesis, theterm of a refused asylum seeker is used for individuals whose claim for asylum has been refusedby the Finnish Immigration Service and who additionally may have an ongoing subsequentasylum application or appeal. The study results were based on semi-structured interviews withsix refused asylum seekers. The sustainable livelihoods framework was utilized to design theinterview questions and analyse results regarding resources. The theoretical frameworkconsisted of these concepts: social inclusion/exclusion, social capital, resilience and agency.The data was analysed by using thematic analysis method. The research questions werefollowing: a) how do the refused asylum seekers describe their resources?, b) how do therefused asylum seekers describe their coping strategies?, c) how do the refused asylum seekersperceive their future?, and d) what are the messages of the refused asylum seekers to Finnishdecision-makers?The results from this study indicate that the interviewees lacked access to different resourcesdue to their legal status. Their social assets were generally quite limited, but existing networkshad a valuable meaning for them. Access to health services was constrained, and the need forpsychosocial support was particularly high. The respondents coped usually by building socialnetworks and working, in addition, some experiences were gained of the grey market. Theinterviewees were reluctant towards asking people for help, financially or otherwise, and thefeelings of mental distress were usually not shared with anyone. The overarching similarity wasthe fear of being deported. The interviewees hoped to learn the Finnish language, get a job andstudy a vocational qualification. The main messages of the respondents were that their asylumcases were not comprehensively and correctly addressed, and the legal assistance wasinadequate. In addition, the respondents had a desire to be included in the Finnish labourmarket, and they did not want to return to the country of origin even though they had receiveda negative decision on their asylum application.

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