Comment: It is a positive sign that more cases of racial discrimination are becoming public. One of these below was by Lähivakutus, an insurance company, which refused to pay damages to a dozen Congolese families in Kajaani because they weren’t Finnish citizens. The insurer admitted its mistake and accepted to pay damages to the families only after the case was taken to the Ombudsman for Minorities.
These cases, like the building superintendent in Salo who was fired because of his ethnic origin, are unfortunately the tip of the iceberg of a probably much widespread problem in Finland. Unfortunately, many immigrants who are victims of discrimination refuse to take action on their own.
It is very important that when we are victims of discrimination we file a complaint. This is not only important for us but to our children and grandchildren so they may live one day in a country where these types of practices are the exception.
In the 1980s I applied for an oil company Esso credit card but was refused on the grounds that I wasn’t a Finnish citizen. When I got my Finnish citizenship I applied for a credit card from the same company again. They said they would grant me the credit card but I now refused to accept it.
A good starting point to report discrimination is the Ombudsman for Minorities.
You can reach them from Monday to Friday 10-12 at 071 878 8666.
Finnish property and casualty insurer Lähivakuutus is to pay damages to a dozen Congolese families for discrimination, the Finnish minority ombudsman’s office said in a statement Wednesday.
Here is the statement (in Finnish) by the Ombudsman for Minorities.