THIS STORY WAS UPDATED
The Helsingin Sanomat headline of the newly appointed Ombudswoman for Children, Elina Pekkarinen, says it all: “the new Ombudswoman for Children knows the needs of Finnish children. OK, fair enough. Newspapers decide on the wording of the headline. Even so, there is not one word mentioned how the new ombudswoman will protect the rights and situation of non-white Finnish children.
One gets the view after reading the article that only white children who live in Finland matter. These cliens are served by other white officials who smile in pictures.
But all of this could be a mistake, right? Here is Migrant Tales overreacting again.
I visited the Ombudswoman for Children website and all the pictures portray the ideal family and smiling authorities who are all white.
If the webpage was anything to go by, there are no non-white children and parents living in Finland.
Read the full story (in Finnish) here.
The fact that the article is all smiles and all white tells me which groups calls the shots in Finland. It is another example how non-white children are treated and represented as second- and third-class members of Finnish society.
Comments Christian Thibault, Liikkukaa CEO: “Although we have to give Elina Pekkainen the benefit of the doubt, the attitude displayed in the HS article must raise eyebrows. Over 20% of the children in the Helsinki-Vantaa-Espoo region have at least one parent who was born in another country than Finland. It is naive, or even negligent, to maintain color blindness towards the situation of those children.”
And adds: “The statistics about discrimination and experience of violence by children [of color] with at least one immigrant parent speak volumes.”
Ahti Tolvanen, chairperson of the Forum for Foreign Scholars, writes on Facebook: “What exactly is the condition of underaged children seeking asylum in this country? Seems many are kept with their parents in the same substandard reception centres in overcrowded conditions. Are suspect kids of parents with asylum refusals often get separated from their parents just like in the US? This lady has an assignment waiting for her.”
Susannah, a member of Migrant Tales who writes on condition of anonymity, writes: “The constitution also guarantees rights to migrants. One of these rights is not to be returned to a country where your life would be in danger.”
Congratulations on your appointment, Elina Pekkarinen, but what are you going to do about improving the plight of non-white Finnish children and families? This question is not addressed in the Helsingin Sanomat article.
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