Solbakken camp for asylum seekers

pav. 1  2solbakkenasylmottak.JPGThe immigration centre in Flora is divided into three units. One of these is Solbakken Camp for asylumseekers (Solbakken Asylmottak) who follows the regulations and instructions from UDI – the Norwegian directorate for Immigration. The director of Solbakken asylmottak reports directly to the executive officer of the Immigration centre.

Solbakken asylmottak offers a place for asylum seekers to stay while they are waiting for a reply on their application from UDI. In 2011 Solbakken can lodge maximum 130 persons. The families with children live in ordinary flats around the town, while the single adults live in the camp.The residents have certain responsibilities that they have to attend while staying at Solbakken. They are responsible for cooking, cleaning and taking care of the surroundings. They also have to go through a mandatory information programme where they learn about the Norwegian society and culture. Twice a month they receive a grant to cover the minimum of needed expenses. If they don’t attend to their duties, the grant will be reduced. If they find work while waiting for a respond to their application from UDI, they have to pay house rent to Solbakken asylmottak.
The residents are given an offer of 250 lessons of Norwegian language at The Immigration Center, which most of them are taking advantage of. There are different activity groups specially for women, mother-child, youth, and adult males. Many informal activities takes place in an own activity centre nearby the camp, where there also are some offices for the employes. Solbakken asylmottak also has internet machines, and access to the gym on the local School nearby. Children at primary School level are offered a place in an introduction class at Torvmyrane Primary School. Children can also access all the extra curricular activities that Florø can offer, amongst others through a collective membership in the local sports club FSK. Solbakken asylmottak is situated in the outskirts of Florø and has a good infrastructure for housing asylum seekers, as they are waiting for their case to be handled by UDI. The centre also has a good relationship with the local residents of Florø.
Background Information
Solbakken asylmottak was officially opened December 1st 1993. The single most important reason why this centre was needed was the increasing amount of refugees arriving to Norway as a consequence of the war in former Yugoslavia.
In March 1998 Flora signed a new contract with UDI where the Centre, in addition to 75 regular residents, agreed to open a department for children arriving to Norway without parents or relatives (EM-department). This department could house 20 children. In January 2001 Flora agreed to establish the first centre specialising on immigrant children in Norway.  In August 2004 UDI changed the content of the agreement and did not want to continue with the EM-department, as a consequence it was shut down in November the same year.
From January 2001 the Centre was organised as a municipal entity (KF). And from January 2002 this entity merged and became one of the three departments within the Immigration Centre.
Today’s agreement with UDI is valid until January 2015. This agreement opens up for maximum 130 residents at the centre, 100 ordinary and 30 extra by demand. 
Since Flora Kommune owns the Centre, it is natural that it has a close cooperation with the municipality and the different services that Flora kommune provides.  This cooperation is benefiting the asylum seekers and provides a full-fledged service for them.