Finland, 27-28 June 2018: the third Study visit of the project was held in Helsinki. POLAMK organized the event, which also included the kick-off meeting of the Finnish Living Lab.

The third Study visit of the project MINDb4ACT took place in Helsinki, on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 June 2018. The visit aimed to understand the Finnish approach to preventing violent extremism mainly for what concerns migrant communities. A 4-people Delegation from MINDb4ACT participated, together with the organizers POLAMK, the Police University College and some local stakeholders from Helsinki, Tampere and Turku city. The exchange event was also the starting point for the Finnish Living Lab focused on Immigration hotspots and Asylum Centres.

The visit started with a first meeting at the Finnish Ministry of Interior, in Helsinki, where an overview on violent extremism threat and on the current Finnish policies to counter radicalization was given. Following, the Delegation moved to the office of the Finn Church Aid, a Finnish NGO in development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and advocacy expert in resolution of religious-based conflicts and peace building. Finn Church Aid contribute to prevent violent extremism by doing empirical researches on terrorist groups such as Al-Shabab and Boko Haram as well as by promoting a peaceful integration of religious communities into society. The first day ended with a visit to the Reception Centre in Punavouri, Helsinki, where a counselor presented the daily practices of their centre and their work to prevent violent extremism.

The second, and last, day took all place in Pasila district – few kilometers away from Helsinki, where the Preventive Unit of the Helsinki Police Department is. The Delegation met with the Manager of the Unit and some of their 25 police officers, who presented the Unit structure, their daily tasks and all the preventive work they have been implementing in the municipality of Helsinki. Helsinki is, in fact, one of the four cities in Finland to have a Police Preventive Unit – together with Tampere, Vantaa and Lapland.

This half-day meeting concluded the Study visit. Next autumn, some new activities will take place in Finland within the context of the Living Lab activities, all focused on working with migrants and building together safety and security.