QUOTE OF THE DAY: Minority representation and trickle-down equality


“There are two lessons to learn from Mr. [Sajid] Javid’s appointment: The fight against an unjust immigration system [in the UK] does not change with a new home secretary, and if we remain satisfied with representation as the sole means of progress, diversity becomes a shield for a government’s institutionally racist policies.”

“If we get more women or people of color into positions of power, society will become more equal. You could call this trickle-down equality — like its economic counterpart, it doesn’t work.”

Read the full New York Times op-ed piece here.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Tightening of immigration laws in Finland and the exploitation of migrants


The near-constant negative labelling of visible migrants like Muslims and minorities by too many Finnish politicians and society has not only weakened their civil rights as Amnesty International pointed out, but led to their exploitation by dishonest and greedy employers that promise them a job and a ticket to a residence permit.

Anti-immigrant forces in Finland create a criminal environment for the exploitation of asylum seekers and migrants.


Plan Finland campaign: Using a pregnant African girl for all the wrong reasons


Dr. Faith Mkwesha, who is the founder and executive director of Sahwira Africa International non-government organization, expressed shock when she first saw the Plan International maternity wear in a campaign using a 12-year-old Zambian girl called Fridah.

Sahwira Africa International has an African resource center that organizes cultural activities and consultancy on African culture and development issues.  

Dr. Faith Mkwesha.

Dr. Mkwesha, an Åbo Akademi researcher, sees a lot of problems with the Plan International Finland’s campaign which used Finnish couture designed clothes by Paola Suhonen and photographed by photographer and journalist Meeri Koutaniemi.

Pictures of the 12-year-old pregnant Fridah. Source: Plan Finland.

“I was shocked when I saw the advert for the first time at a bus stop, but at closer inspection of the whole campaign and other things came to light,” she said. “For one, this campaign is by white people and how they perceive black girls and women. The pictures reinforce that black girl children, not teenagers, are sexually promiscuous and black men as pedophiles. It also encourages black phobia.”

While there are unwanted pregnancy cases among girls in all cultures, Dr. Mkwesha asks, “what would happen if a Finnish white European twelve-year-old pregnant girl would be pictured and portrayed in such a sexual manner?”


Hussain Kazemian: A former Shia militia member seeks asylum in Finland


Migrant Tales insight: This story below, written by Hussain Kazemian, an Afghan living in Finland, was of a countryman called Sadr, 27, who spoke on condition of anonymity about his failed request for asylum in Finland. He got his first rejection from the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) in spring 2016. Sadr appealed, but the administrative court  overturned it winter 2017. He is now waiting for the supreme administrative court’s decision on his second appeal.

Sadr was one of the hundreds of thousand undocumented Afghan refugees in Iran 1 who also entered and sought refuge in Finland in 2015. 

He had no idea how to carry a rifle, but after he was recruited and after some weeks of military training in Iran, he was prepared to fight as a soldier of the Iranian Shia militia on the front line in Syria. In the end, he had fears and escaped the war, but it was not possible for him to go back to Afghanistan because of the National Directorate of Security of Afghanistan (NDS), which detains anyone who took part in the conflict in Syria.

After living many years and working in different cities of Iran earning lower-than-normal wages, Sadr was detained many times and forced to be in deportation camps. Even if they sent him back to Afghanistan, he returned to Iran to work. He joined the Iranian Shia militia only to get a residence permit 2 in Iran.

“It was frustrating for me to do construction work and get paid lower wages than normal,” he said. “Sometimes the employer did not even pay me my wages because he knew I didn’t have the right to complain in that country since I was an undocumented Afghan refugee. Nevertheless, I decided to go to a registration office and have a look and ask questions about becoming a member of the Shia militia.”


CORRECTION: Iraqi asylum seeker married to a Finn is allegedly in hiding and fears deportation


Migrant Tales understand that Ibrahim, an Iraqi asylum seeker who is married to a Finnish woman and expecting their child in September, was summoned to appear at the Oulu police station Wednesday but did not appear because he fears being detained and deported to Iraq.*  

We wrote on April 18: “Other legal matters concerning Ibrahim’s residence have fueled uncertainty for the family. One of these, are seven appeals to overturn Ibrahim’s deportation orders from Finland after being rejected twice for asylum by Migri.”

In that story, the wife said she feared that the police could apprehend her husband and deport him back to Iraq.

“We live on the fifth floor,” she said in April, “sometimes when I hear the elevator or people knocking at our door, I fear that it may be the police that has come to deport my husband. We thought it would be a good idea if Ibrahim would attend swimming classes with our newborn but we decided against it because of fears that the police may apprehend and deport him.”

This story will be updated.


Read the full story here.

* A source who is in touch with the Iraqi asylum seeker believed that his countryman was detained by the police and would be deported Wednesday. We now know, allegedly, that the asylum seeker was supposed to visit the police station in Oulu. He did not appear but has gone into hiding for fear that he will be deported. 

Kirje suomalaisille suomalaiselta äidiltä miehensä säilönotosta ja mahdollisesta pakkopalautuksesta


Migrant Tales julkaisee kirje suomalaiselta naiselta, joka synyttää pian irakilaismiehen ja hänen toinen lapsi. Suomessa, Maahanmuuttovirasto (Migri) katsoo ettei lapsi tarvitse isänsä ja siksi hänet voi pakkopaualttaa.

Hyvä lukija,

Mieheni saapui Suomeen yli neljä vuotta sitten turvapaikanhakijana.

Pian hänen saapumisensa jälkeen tapasimme, tutustuimme ja rakastuimme. Yhdessä olemme olleet yli neljä vuotta ja puolet tästä ajasta asuneet yhdessä. Meillä on puolitoistavuotias yhteinen lapsi ja toinen lapsemme syntyy pian.

Suojelupoliisi on päättynyt ja arvioinut hakijan “vaaralliseksi valtion turvallisuudelle.” Millä perustella? Onko hän vaarantanut valtion turvallisuus kun on oleskelu Suomessa? Todistaako tämä, että kyseinen turvapaikanhakija on kenties poliittinen vanki Suomessa?

Vielä hetki sitten elimme täysin normaalia perhe-elämää, kunnes Migri [Maahanmuuttovirasto] päätti ettei poikamme ja syntyvä lapsemme tarvitse isäänsä elämäänsä. Ei vaikka isä on ollut poikamme elämässä koko tämän ajan syntymästä asti.
Äitinä mikään ei tunnu pahemmalta kuin se, kun poika etsii isäänsä meidän yhteisessä kodissa, aina oven käydessä poika huutaa isäänsä odottaen että isä kävelee huoneeseen sisään. Mikään ei tunnu pahemmalta, kuin se että joudun viimeisilläni raskaana ollessani viemään poikaamme tapaamaan isäänsä säilöönottokeskukseen, jossa meille annetaan muutama tunti yhdessä, pienessä huoneessa.
Tällä hetkellä emme tiedä mitä tulee tapahtumaan, mieheni on suljettuna säilöönottokeskukseen, emme tiedä saako isä todistaa lapsemme syntymää ja saako hän edes tavata syntyvän lapsemme.


Exposing white Finnish privilege #51: The police are the defenders of white power and privilege


Ask Finland’s Romany minority If you want to understand how the Finnish police service reinforces and defends white power and privilege. I did this recently, and the answers did not surprise me. 

According to a member of the Roma community, the Finnish police play down discrimination, especially if it involves a member of that minority group.

“They simply don’t care to investigate cases of discrimination against the Roma because some of them are so racist,” the person said, agreeing that institutional racism in the Finnish police service is a problem.

One of the problems with discrimination cases, hate speech and hate crime is that due process is slow and ineffective.

It is not only the Roma but migrants and other visible minorities that have to deal with a police service that takes its time big time with discrimination and racism cases.

Certainly, the question we must ask is why.

The answer: Because that is the way things are meant to be.

White Finnish privilege #51

Do I trust the police service in handling discrimination and racism cases?