What do Somali minors sent to Somalia tell us about their treatment in Finland?

by , under Enrique

A news story on Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest daily, claims that Somali minors living in Finland are being taken against their will to Somalia. The daily speaks of ”a few” cases but suggests that in 2001 the figure may be around 50. 

Statstics Finland claims that during 2001-11 there were about 200 minors who had moved to Somalia from Finland.

While it’s clear that Somalia is still not a safe country to live in never mind be a place to send your children, one of the matters that caught my eye in the story was that these children and adolescents were sent there against their will.

Somaliliitto, the Finnish-Somali Association, said that minors should not be taken to Somalia against their will. “Somalia isn’t still safe and we don’t support the idea that Somalis should return to the country,” Somaliitto chairman, Arshe Said, was quoted as saying on Nelonen.

How were they sent to Somalia against their will?  How did they express their objection?

When I was a minor, I didn’t like moving from country to country. Even so, I had no choice because my parents decided what was best for me.

Does “being sent to a country against one’s will” mean being taken to a country that is politically unsafe, like Somalia?

Addis Ababa consul, Sari Jokinen, was quoted as saying that minors sent to Somalia were taken care of by relatives.

“Some have been very alarmed [about being in Somalia],” she said. “According to the children, there is no health care or possibilities to go to school in Somalia.”

What does the story, and the fact that a few minors go to live in Somalia from Finland, tell us?

It reveals that a very small minority of Somalis families in Finland are worried about how their children are losing touch with their parents’ culture. This is perfectly normal and happens in the best of families.

Some Finns forget that 1.2 million people emigrated from this land between 1860 and 1999. Sending your children to visit their grandparents was and still is an effective way for parents to keep their children in touch with their culture.

Family reunification was another important factor when Finns moved to other countries. Not only did they get their relatives to move to their new country but their neighbors and friends.

When I was a child growing up in California, I was grateful to my parents for sending me to Finland during the summers. I spent those summers with my grandparents getting that important injection of Finnish culture and language so it wouldn’t wear off completely.

Without those visits I would have been a poorer person today.

 

 

 

  1. Mark

    The 2001 date has little relevance here. I think you mean in 2010. It’s also useful to point out that many of the Somali youngsters are also going to countries neighbouring Somalia.

    And the article, as far as I can tell, doesn’t know how many are sent against their will:

    Viranomaisilla ei kuitenkaan ole tietoa, kuinka moni nuori lähtee ja jää Somaliaan omasta tahdostaan.

    It does tell about the case of young woman sent their by her father to ‘make a woman of her’. That may reflect the father’s disatisfaction with her ‘Western ways’, or not. It’s really hard to say on this alone. And this was a case 12 years ago, so why is this being rehashed now?

    In fact, there is very little new or recent information in this story, which frankly, makes me bloody suspicious about the motives for printing it.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      The figure is correct if we use National Bureau of Investigation (KRP) sources for 2001. However, we could add to the latter Statistics Finland figures for 2000-11, which claim that about 200 minors, whose mother tongue is Somali, had moved to Somalia.

    • JusticeDemon

      Ricky,

      In English KRP calls itself the National Bureau of Investigation.

      I understand that domicile registration statistics are far from reliable for anyone moving out of the Nordic countries, as they depend on whether the person concerned remembers/bothers to file the associated notification. Naturalised Somali Finns who move to a country with no formal domicile register (such as the United Kingdom) are likely to be registered as having moved to Somalia simply because the destination field of the domicile register must be completed before an amendment can be saved in the database.

  2. Yossie

    “It reveals that a very small minority of Somalis families in Finland are worried about how their children are losing touch with their parents’ culture. This is perfectly normal and happens in the best of families.”

    Well excuse me but you are calling it normal for someone to send their child back to the area they claim to be so dangerous they cant live in there? It is also normal for this to be done as a punishment for not wearing a veil or making friends with finns?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Well excuse me but you are calling it normal for someone to send their child back to the area they claim to be so dangerous they cant live in there?

      Read the blog entry well. I don’t say this.

      –It is also normal for this to be done as a punishment for not wearing a veil or making friends with finns?

      This is where your anti-immigration and anti-Islam credentials come to light. How do you know this? Parents, irrespective of their background, usually want their children to embrace their customs and ways. That’s normal.

    • Yossie

      I would imagine parents would usually want their children to be first and foremost safe. If they are ok with their kids to be living in Somalia raises options:

      They do not care about their child being in danger. Would be logical if as it story goes, it is used as punishment and the child that doesn’t do as the parent tells them is less worthy.

      or

      Somalia isn’t actually as dangerous as they want us to believe if its fine for your kids to live in.

      If you read the story of the girl, it quite clearly shows that if you become too finnish, its one way ticket to somalia

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –They do not care about their child being in danger. Would be logical if as it story goes, it is used as punishment and the child that doesn’t do as the parent tells them is less worthy.

      Yossie, these are your personal subjective opinions about a topic that you have little knowledge of.

      What about this interpretation: Life in Finland for Somalis is filled with so much social exclusion that parents would risk sending their children to a war-torn country.

      Why do you, as well as other anti-immigration people, always use information to suit your prejudices?

    • JusticeDemon

      The Finnish government responded to the question from your convicted racist criminal Master over a month ago. Isn’t it interesting that he hasn’t drawn anything like as much attention to that answer as to his original biased and provocative question?

      You Hompanzees are being manipulated, Yossie. Wake up and smell the fascist coffee brewing.

    • Yossie

      Enrique

      First of all. It is the article that cover the story how kids are send there as punishment. They also had that girl’s story of her experience. Ofcourse you dont want to see anything wrong with immigrant so you go on whitewashing the whole case as “I was send to finland in summers too”. As it was a similar situation.

      It is no suprise you come up with your own prejudices. Once again it´s finns fault if immigrants do something wrong.

      JusticeDemon

      What case are you refering to?

    • JusticeDemon

      Yossie

      What case are you refering to?

      Well, your question rather confirms my point. The Finnish government responded over a month ago to the written parliamentary question from your racist criminal Master. The one that he announced loudly on his Holy Scripta and to all the Finnish media back in August.

      Your Master has not taken so much trouble to inform the general public or even you Hompanzees about the official response to that question, which is why you haven’t heard about it and can still spout opinions about Somalia as if they were the whole and final truth.

      Which brings us back to the point that you are being manipulated by a politically ambitious criminal solely to advance his interests and not yours.

      Hompanssit

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