Abstract:

This article focuses on the Finnish system of complementary protection for forced migrants. The Aliens Act contains rules on two forms of complementary protection – subsidiary protection, based on the EU Qualification Directive, and humanitarian protection. The article assesses how the personal scopes of these complementary protection categories are defined and how the line of demarcation between them is drawn. In regards to eligibility, particular focus is placed on whether the threat the applicant would encounter in his or her home country has to be ‘individual’, in the sense that it is particular to the victim because of his or her personal circumstances, such as their membership in a particular ethnic group. Or whether the term ‘individual’ describes the likelihood of the threat, so in order to constitute a ground for complementary protection, the threat of harm ought to be real and not a mere possibility. The article concludes that as a result of the ambiguity of the criteria for complementary protection under the Aliens Act, the scopes of subsidiary protection and humanitarian protection are blurred.

Keywords: Refugee Protection, Subsidiary Protection, Humanitarian Protection, Qualification as a Beneficiary of International Protection, Armed Conflict, International Humanitarian Law, EU law.