The racist harassment that children are exposed to in Finland is either played down or sidelined completely, according to a statement by Save the Children (Pelastakaa Lapset), an association founded in 1922 that aims to improve the lives of children in Finland and abroad.
You can read the Save the Children statement (in Finnish) here.
Satu Kanninen, an adviser of the ogranization, told Migrant Tales that it’s important that a social ill like racism is debated openly.
“This wasn’t the case four years ago,” she said. “We are now starting to debate racism in earnest [in this country].”
Save the Children said that any type of racist harassment that children may suffer is not only unacceptable but boils down to questioning daily and constantly their Finnish identity and their right to belong here.
The feeling of security that a child may feel is undermined when he or she is a victim of racist harassment.
Kanninen agreed that in many respects the debate about racism in Finland boils down to accepting cultural diversity.
“What does being pure Finnish mean?” she asked, adding that in this century the acceptance of cultural diversity will be an ever-important topic.