Finland suspends visa for berry pickers

Finland’s ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to suspend visa application for berry pickers from Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. The decision has been made due to allegations about human trafficking in the industry.  This decision was made in an official statement from Finland’s Foreign ministry on 15 March 2024.

This means that it will not be possible for workers from Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar to go to Finland for the 2024 harvest.

The visa that has been issued so far for the wild berry pickers, has been the same kind of visa as seasonal workers who come to Finland to work in tourism. Ideally the berry pickers would pick berries and be free to sell them to whoever they wish. However it has now come to the attention of the Ministry of Foreign affairs that most of the pickers generally enter into employment contracts.

The seriousness of the charges and suspicions about the working and living condition for the workers makes this a topic that the Finnish government view very seriously.

The Finnish government aim to create a long-term solution from the 2025 harvest season.

According to the media Shengen Visa News it is still possible for Thai people to work as seasonal workers picking “non-natural” berries.

Source: Bangkok Post and Shengen Visa News

About Lærke Kobberup

Lærke Kobberup is a Journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Lærke Kobberup

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