Case Villa Meri: Is the job of an asylum reception center to promote the well-being or suffering of those they serve?

by , under Enrique Tessieri, Martin Al-Laji

“Silence is beautiful” is a saying that most people in this country will appreciate but if the authorities don’t act and keep the public in suspense, that silence can turn into poison in a country like Finland where there are interest groups that make it their business to spread hatred, victimize and destroy the good name of migrants.

There are many examples we could cite of this “silence,” or inaction that encourages apathy.

Silence also fuels speculation, which in turn greases the wheels of those that spread racism, bigotry, and hatred.

Good examples of that  social gangrene are MV and Nykysuomi and others that rob, spin and spoonfeed to their readers their daily dose of racism with lies and exaggerations about migrants.

The existence of these types of publications, which have a readership and are supported by some politicians of anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*,  show that many are trying to cash in on xenophobia because such a social ill brings attention and power.

The Villa Meri asylum reception center, run by a private company that profits from people’s suffering, is at the center of a scandal fed by silence due to the rape of a 15-year-old.




Read the full complaint here.

While not all asylum reception centers are managed poorly, there are others that do a good job. One important matter that a well-functioning center requires is good management that is available to the people they serve and offer shelter.

There should also be a rigorous debate in our society about the role of private companies that are in the asylum reception center business.  We saw that they didn’t do a good job in cities like Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Hyvinkää with Luona and now Rauma has appeared on the radar screen.

Even if there are private companies that manage asylum centers, some do a good job and with real concern and respect for the well-being of those they offer shelter.

The suspected rape case at the Villa Meri asylum reception center is a case in point. Something happened there but there are still more questions than answers. Let’s wait for them and not jump to any conclusions.

The head of the Villa Meri asylum reception center, Päivi Nikkola, has been at the center of the storm but she’s nowhere in sight, and silent. The police service too is tight-lipped about the case.

One of the complaints that the asylum seekers at the center had was that Nikkola is never around to speak to them. But isn’t it her job to serve asylum seekers and be in contact with them? Is the rape case there another example of poor management?

We have heard that a number of versions concerning what  happened at Villa Meri but we always return to the same question: Why was an adolescent minor allowed to visit the center on many occasions despite the fact that the father of her boyfriend allegedly warned the manager or staff that something bad could happen to the adolescent?

Who approved that the adolescent could visit the center?

Somebody who is in charge did this. And because it was allowed to happen something went as a result terribly wrong.

See also:

How can a rape of an adolescent visitor happen at the Villa Meri asylum reception center?

Problems at Rauma’s Villa Meri asylum reception center have gotten worse

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.”