Finland must stop locking up asylum seekers and their children

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The picture of one of the seven minors detained at the Joutseno immigration removal center in April 2017 should shock us all. That picture, the asylum policies of the Finnish Immigration Service, and the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä are destroying the very values of our Nordic welfare state. 

The picture below of the young adolescent by the metal bars of the window and barbwire, the overcast day and her hopeless gaze reveal our silence and complicity.

When we see and hear the rants and arguments of Islamophobic politicians and their followers, the most complicit are those who remain silent and “follow orders.”

How can we claim to be a fair society that promotes social equality if our behavior towards others is totally the opposite or in a Mr. Hyde mode?

The family of nine was granted a one-year residence permit. In an interview published Saturday in YLE, the parents of the children state that their children are traumatized by what happened at the immigration detention center. The children never sleep alone but together, according to the parents.


Finland, a country that believes in social equality and strives to have the best education system in the world, locks up children in immigration removal centers where there are only classes that teach inequality and hopelessness. 

Stop locking up asylum seekers and their children!