Minors’ units

Practice Aim

To offer necessary shelter and protection to unaccompanied minors. Provide age-sensitive care, education and support.

Target Groups

Unaccompanied minors among asylum seekers.

Identification of stakeholders that made an identification of the practice

The practice of targeted services for unaccompanied minors is based on and identified from the legislation, ‘Act on the Reception of Persons Applying for International Protection and on the Identification of and Assistance to Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings’ (‘Reception act’) and ‘Child welfare act’

Criteria actors or stakeholder are using to assess them as a “good practice”

Offering targeted reception services for a vulnerable group

Name and leading organization (contact details provided)

Minors´ units are sustained by municipalities, Finnish Immigration Service and civil society organizations as the Finnish Red Cross.

Application setting

Targeted reception services for unaccompanied minors are regulated by the legislation mentioned above and implemented by the different service providers mentioned above. The Finnish Immigration Service, that is operating under the Ministry of Interior, is responsible for supervising and governing the minors´ reception services.


To offer necessary shelter and protection to unaccompanied minors. Provide age-sensitive care, education and support.



Requirements/ accessibility issues

In Finland establishment of age of minors (so called “age tests”) are used, if authorities suspect young person´s minority and, consequently, his/her right for targeted services. The age tests, that might exclude young people from minors´ unit and targeted measures concerning asylum investigation, have been criticized to be imprecise. A minor is allowed to stay in the unit until he/she turns 18 or his/her asylum investigation is completed.

Performance procedures

The ‘group homes’ and ‘supported housing units’ for unaccompanied minors provide statutory reception services as housing, social and health services, reception allowance and interpretation that are tailored to minors. In addition, minors are provided full upkeep and more intensive counselling. Minors’ units are smaller and have more staff members per person than reception centres for adults and families.

Difficulties or constrains for its implementation

When the amount of unaccompanied minors´ was significantly increasing in 2015, there was a lack of competent personnel.


The services described above, provided to all unaccompanied minors in Finland.