In June, LSI’s member Victim Support Finland, opened a helpline service for seasonal workers. The service is intended to especially support foreign seasonal workers, who suspect that they have been exploited at work. The helpline advises for example on legal working conditions such as working hours and salaries, housing and hygiene conditions, as well as available legal remedies. If the employee gives their consent to do so, the matter may be referred to the authorities for further investigation. The initiative and funding for the service comes from the Finish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
The service answers questions in Russian, English, Finnish and Swedish on the phone and using messaging apps. Help is also available in other languages with the help of professional translators. The service is open from 17th June until 10th September Monday-Friday at 14.00-18.00. In general the period June-September is the time when large groups of seasonal workers especially from Ukraine come to Finland to work in the agriculture, e.g. berry picking. For more information, see Victim Support Finland’s webpage.
Overall, the number of clients that Victim Support Finland (RIKU) supports continues to grow. In January-May 2021 the total number of clients in different services was 14 400. Last year the number was 10 700 during the same period of time, which means a 30% increase of clients.