Posts Tagged: discrimination

The Avarn Security guards scandal is a monster created by our institutions

The surprising matter about the Avarn Security scandal, when (in)security guards used excessive force and humiliated their victims, was that it wasn’t a surprise. Poor selection criteria, lack of proper psychological training, little to no internal and external regulation, and near-blind trust would eventually lead us to the present scandal.  The positive side of the

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Anastasiia Diudina helps Ukrainian refugees in Finland

A young and energetic woman called Anastasiia Diudina aims to fight Russian aggression and sees helping Ukrainian refugees as an important part of it. What is surprising is that some of the problems the asylum seekers faced at asylum reception centers in 2015 and beyond are faced by Ukrainians. While Diudina stresses that the treatment

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Tariq: Is there justice in Finland? (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of Tariq’s* ordeal in Finland. Go here to read Part 1. “This is my case: I have been living in Finland for eleven years. I moved here to be with my wife, and upon arriving, I started to work and study at the same time. After three years in the country,

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Tariq: Is there justice in Finland? (Part 1)

Tariq* has lived in Finland for over eleven years. If there is a person who has run into complications with the police, Migri (Finnish Immigration Service), and due process, he is one of them. According to Tariq, his citizenship process has been arbitrarily delayed due to a police fine that was canceled. “In March last

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How institutional racism entrenches at a Finnish school

How does institutional racism survive unchallenged at a Finnish school? An anonymous source got in touch with Migrant Tales and pointed out how structural or institutional racism survives at a Finnish school. One of the most crucial factors for its survival aren’t surveys and legal ineffective and false assurances against discrimination and racism but what

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Shadow racism in the happiest country

It is quite true that when people come to a new country like Finland, they have a ”honeymoon” period – everything looks new and interesting. The first few months can feel like an extended holiday, and you experience the seasons, the holidays and the culture. When it came time for me to look for work,

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Migrant Tales Podcast: An Afro-Nicaraguan in Finland

Shirlene Green Newball is an Afro-Nicaraguan activist who moved to Finland 13 years ago and lives today in the capital Helsinki. Shirlene tells us in the interview about her life in Finland and those of Afro-Nicaraguans and other minorities. Is Finland a good country to live in if you are a black woman from the

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Part I: Racism causes trauma and mental suffering

Maailman Kuvalehti, a periodical which often takes up issues of xenophobia and racism in Finland more bravely than the mainstream media, cited the article Häpeää, itsesyytöksiä, masennusta – toistuvan rasismin vaikutukset mielenterveyteen voivat olla vakavat (Shame, self-blame, and depression – continuous racism encounter impact on mental wellbeing can be severe). Dated April 24th to a study by Robert T. Carter (University of Columbia), it stated that day-to-day exclusion encounters cause mental depression and symptoms similar to war trauma. Read the article here.

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THE LONG READ: Dr Jeevana Subasinghe – How inappropriate behavior and discrimination happen at a health center and higher education in Finland

For the past four years, Sri Lankan-Finnish dentist Jeevana Subasinghe has experienced multiple forms of inappropriate behavior and discrimination by his employer at the Porvoo Municipal Health Center. But the treatment and discrimination he allegedly claims bring to light a wider systemic problem that affects some Finnish dentists as well.

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ANTI-HATE CRIME ORGANISATION STATEMENT: You should not generalize and label all migrants

STATEMENT 5.2.2019 Suomen viharikosvastainen yhdistys ry Finska Anti-Harbrottsorganisation rf Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland   The news about the sexual assault cases in the northern Finnish city of Oulu have shocked everyone irrespective of the person’s cultural and religious background. Even so, in racializing the problem and debating whether sexual abuse is linked to a person’s

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Camtu Suhonen: Women in Academic Careers

Discrimination against women who are advancing their career is a breaking down the rule of equality. Men and women are created equal. All the rights, treatment and opportunity that a man has should also be even to women who are pursuing careers of any sort. It will be called unfair, biased and not just when it comes to women.

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Camtu Suhonen: How discrimination destroys academic careers

Discrimination is a disease that plagues many organizations and often causes more damage to the organization such as profit loss, economical issues, and natural disasters. This is because discrimination destroys the people who make up the organization and causes damages irreparable by money or promotion. Career paths and patterns are things most affected by such a plague because they damage people mentally, emotionally, and socially. If a person is mentally and emotionally damaged by discrimination, this person becomes paralyzed and unable to function properly within the organization. Also, socially, victims experience role malfunction and resort to isolation for comfort rather than ask for help from colleagues.

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The manager of the Keuruu asylum reception center prohibits religious and cultural celebrations – is this the Finnish way of welcoming newcomers?

Migrant Tales continues to interview sources who know about the Keuruu asylum reception center, where the Afghan asylum seekers claim to be treated in a disrespectful manner. One of the many gripes that some asylum seekers have against the reception center manager, Rasul Azizan, is that he imposes the rules like “a dictator,” is that no religious or cultural celebrations can be held at the center.

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UPDATE (December 1): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link. December 1 Two rape stories weighed differently – (Helsingin Sanomat)* What’s wrong with these two stories? Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest daily, published two rape stories Tuesday.

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M. Blanc: My Finnish experience

M. Blanc* I’m a non-muslim Persian student in Finland and this is my story. I was born in Iran but due to the strict islamic rules and the islamic belief I couldn’t fit in from the early ages. I moved to Cyprus as a young teenager and after a while I came to north. I

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Why do migrants have too little say over their matters in Finland?

The Finnish ministry of education allocated 1.3 million euros in 2015 compared with 1.2 million euros the previous year to support migrants in sports, according to YLE. Despite such sums of money migrants and their children still face obstacles like discrimination and racism in sports. Discrimination today in Finnish sports appears as exclusion, name-calling, insults, even violence

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You can live in Finland as long as you are culturally invisible (and conform to our stereotypes)

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Vesa-Matti Saarakkala’s statement on Seinjäjoki-based daily Ilkka is another clear example of how some politicians, and even the National Board of Education, continue to deny our ever-growing cultural diversity. There is a lot of talk about “multiculturalism” and little action. This leaves us with a hostile message lingering above us: We, white Finns,

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Municipal politician’s prison sentence speaks volumes about the PS’ anti-immigration rhetoric

The sentencing by a court on Friday of a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* city councilman and member of the Mikkeli city board to three months in prison speaks volumes about the party’s anti-immigration rhetoric, according to Länsi-Savo. Matti Siitari, who was general manager of M-S Metalli between 2006 and 2010, forced 17 Estonian employees to work 13-hour days

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An effective way of putting racism in context in Finland

There are many ways to understand ethnic hatred and racism in Finland. One of these is by substituting the word ‘migrant’ for your ethnic group and/or ‘woman’ in a text that’s aimed at fueling ‘us’ and ‘them.’ Let’s take the recent claims of two politicians, MPs Tom Packalén and Pia Kauma, to see how passions are

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Finnish NCP youth league gives thumbs down to cultural diversity

Remember the proposals that the Youth League of the National Coalition Party (NCP) made last year concerning the type of society they’d like Finland to be in the future? Some of the many proposals that raised eyebrows and created quite a media storm back then included plans to scrap the Ombudsman for Minorities as well

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Death of Colombian in police custody in Finland sheds light on the desperate plight of many undocumented migrants

The tragic death* of a twenty-six-year-old Colombian should awaken us to the many dangers that some undocumented migrants face in Europe. According to the Finnish police, Sergio Camilo Becerra González, committed suicide while his parents suspect he was a victim of xenophobia, according to Caracol.  Both outcomes, death by suicide or xenophobia, are harrowing reminders

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Defining white Finnish privilege #2: Third culture children versus “pupil with immigrant background”

In many respects white privilege, or specifically white Finnish privilege, is a good way to understand some of the challenges that migrants and especially non-white Finns face in this country. Migrant Tales invites its readers to share their thoughts on the social ill. Please send your comments on the topic to [email protected] We’d love to hear from

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Why do we consider Timo Soini to be “a good cop” if he brought all these “bad cops” to power?

Doesn’t Perussuomalaiset (PS) leader Timo Soini bear responsibility for giving people like Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Olli Immonen and a very long list of others a platform to spread their hatred and intolerance?  Why does the media let Soini get off the hook so easily? Is Soini the culprit for anti-immigration sentiment and

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Sweden’s white paper on the abuses and rights violations against the Roma will have a positive effect on Finland

Sweden published on March 26 a white paper on abuses and rights violations against the Roma during the last century. The white paper is significant since it is the first time that the Swedish government has published and acknowledged Sweden’s long history of discrimination against the Roma minority. Should Finland follow Sweden’s example? If sociologist

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“Migrants” lag two years behind “ethnic Finns” in Pisa results

Here’s an interesting story on the Finnish News Agency (STT) wires: Migrant students at school lag two years behind so-called ethnic Finns in the Program for International Student Assessment (Pisa) results. Of all the OECD countries, Finland’s Pisa result saw the biggest drop in 2013 from the previous year. Read full story here. Anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) MPs

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Landmark turban case in Finland to go to court in February

Gill Sukhdashan Singh, the Sikh bus driver that has been denied the right to wear a turban at work by his employer, told Migrant Tales that transport workers union AKT will take Veolia bus company to court concerning the matter.  Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest daily, has been following the story closely. Read full story here.

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Lieksa, Finland, councilperson who wanted a “Somali-free” meeting room gets sacked as the PS’ town council leader

Esko Saastamoinen, the Perussuomalaiset (PS) councilperson from Lieksa who demanded that a ”Somali-free” meeting room for his delegation, has been sacked as the PS’ town council leader, according to Karjalainen, a Joensuu-based daily.  Saastamoinen was, however,  able to retain his post as the party’s Lieksa town board first vice president. The PS councilperson faces as

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Finnish Immigration Service terrorizes immigrants (Part II)

By Dana Why are we all so passive if we’re oppressed? What do you fear? What will you fear losing? Money? Benefits? What, then? Where’s your humanity? Who makes up your mind for you? Who controls your thoughts? How do you build and make your morals and values stronger each day? What is your religion?

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OECD study states that immigration boosted Finnish economy

An OECD study claims that immigration boosted the Finnish economy by 0.16% in 2011 including pensions. This revelation is a blow to anti-immigration pundits, who commonly claim that immigration drains social welfare resources and offers no economic benefits. As Migrant Tales has shown over and over again the red herrings, urban tales and outright racism

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How serious is the Future of Migration 2020 Strategy?

The more I think of the government’s published white paper on immigration policy made public on Thursday, the more I have reason to worry.  Apart from omitting altogether the term multiculturalism and cultural from diversity in the Future of Migration 2020 Strategy, your suspicions aren’t put to rest by the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK),

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Migrant Tales turns six years today

Migrant Tales celebrates its sixth year as a blog today. Our blog has grown from a humble voice to one that gets noticed in Finland and abroad.  Our aim is a simple: Migrant Tales is a blog community that debates some of the salient issues facing immigrants and minorities in Finland and elsewhere. It aims to be a

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Ombudsman for Minorities responds to Migrant Tales’ queries concerning phone operators and insurance companies

Migrant Tales spoke recently to the office of the Ombudsman for Minorities about two cases by Finland’s mobile phone operators and insurance companies. We asked as well if using the term students with immigrant backgrounds, or maahanmuuttajataustainen, at elementary and middle schools was discriminatory.  The term maahanmuuttajataustainen appears to be so common in some Mikkeli schools that

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City of Helsinki shouldn’t contract companies exploiting foreign workers

By Zuzeeko Tegha Abeng Foreign workers in the cleaning services sector in Finland face exploitation and abuse from employers and sometimes from customers. The authorities, including city councils that award cleaning contracts to companies that violate employment rules and collective agreements share the blame. Image: The Copenhagen Post According to a Yle report, work safety inspections conducted in

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DNA, Saunalahti, IF, Nordea: “Backward-looking” rules and laws mirror Finland’s anti-foreign sentiment

A comment on Migrant Tales by Chef summed up pretty well how “several backward-looking” rules used arbitrarily by mobile phone and insurance companies continue to discriminate and make life difficult for immigrants. Why does this still happen in Finland, a Nordic welfare state country that promotes and bases its values on social equality (tasa-arvo)? The suspicion that

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European Network Against Racism statement: Europe is losing out by failing to recognise the talents of migrants and ethnic minorities

March 9, 2013: Migrants and ethnic minorities contribute hugely to Europe’s economic, social, political and cultural life. But failing to recognise and value this contribution –or worse, setting barriers to migrants’ participation in society– results in a waste of these many talents. This has a damaging impact on Europe’s resilience to the economic crisis, its creativity,

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Lip service and inaction water poisonous plants like racism

Instead of debating whether racism and prejudice are serious problems or not in Finland, why not look at the factors that permit their existence in our society? A good starting point could be asking oneself the following question: Is our reaction to such social ills a reaction?  Inaction, be it in the form of lip

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EU Commissioner for Human Rights: Protection against discrimination should be strengthened in Finland

  This is a statement by the EU Commissioner for Human Rights: Strasbourg, 25/9/2012 – “The Finnish Government has started a timely reform of the national equal treatment legislation. It is now crucial to ensure accessibility of the protection framework to all victims of discrimination and avoid unnecessary fragmentation of equality bodies” said today Nils

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The absurdity of the reverse-racism argument in Finland

Every now and then you’ll hear a visitor on Migrant Tales claim: What about [reverse] racism against [white] Finns!? Racism is a complex problem but one matter singles it out: It is an effective tool to socially exclude, control and exploit other groups in society from vital resources such as jobs and economic wealth.  The

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La Prórroga: 500 euros para desmontar mitos racistas

El anuncio salió en el diario local La Garrotxa y contaba con el respaldo del abogado Joan Capdevila. Es decir, quien quisiera comprobar que el anuncio iba en serio podía llamar a este despacho en Olot, y si las pruebas aprobadas eran irrefutables, el abogado se encargaría de pagarle su premio. El diario La Garrotxa, a su vez, se comprometía a publicar la historia -con las pruebas conseguidas por el ganador- siempre respetando el anonimato del participante.

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Milloin minusta tulee suomalainen?

”Olenko suomalainen?” on niitä kysymyksiä, jotka yhdistävät kaikkia toisen polven maahanmuuttajia. Mutta kaikista kipeimmin se koskettaa värillisiä. Kantasuomalaisten keskuudessa kuuluu välillä lausahdus maassa maan tavalla mutta mitä tämä sanonta oikeasti tarkoittaa.

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Migrant Tales wants to hear your story

Thanks to you, Migrant Tales has achieved one of its most important aims: “To be a voice for those whose views and situation are understood poorly and heard faintly by the media, politicians and public.” In order for our voice to be heard by politicians, civil servants and the general public, we would like to publish more stories about your experiences in Finland.

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MTV3: Kauppalehti: Siivousfirmojen pitää irtisanoa maahanmuuttajia

Uudellamaalla kiistellään siivousalan työvoimatilanteesta, kertoo Kauppalehti. Uudenmaan työlupayksikkö on evännyt työlupia afrikkalaisilta ja aasialaisilta siivoojilta ja kehottanut yrityksiä palkkaamaan siivoojia Euroopan talousalueelta. Luvatta jääneet siivoojat olivat olleet töissä jo vuosia, turvapaikkahakemuksen käsittelyn kestäessä.

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YLE: Yritykset mainostavat työntekijöidensä suomalaisuudella

Useat pienet palvelualan yritykset mainostavat itseään sillä, että heidän kaikki työntekijänsä ovat suomalaisia. Vähemmistövaltuutetun toimistossa suomalaisia työntekijöitä korostavaa mainontaa pidetään arveluttavana. Jos markkinointi vaikuttaa työntekijöiden valitsemiseen, se voi olla myös laitonta.

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What Finland’s immigration policy lacks

If we look at the dismal amount of immigrants and refugees as well as high unemployment one can reach only one conclusion: a policy that has failed miserably. Certainly progress has been made: the number of immigrants has risen albeit slowly to 143,256 today from 12,670 in 1981 while unemployment has come down officially from 53% in 1994 to over 20%.

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The role of the Finnish social welfare state and newcomers

It is surprising that one can hear these days in private conversation from some teachers and people working with immigrants and refugees that some national groups should never be brought to this country because they will never adapt to our way of life. “Why do they continue to bring them here?” some say.

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Ghostbusting national identities

Linda has posed an interesting question: What is Finnish culture? Even though the answer to the question is more complex than one would think, it brings forth some very important points about our identity and who we believe we are. One of the biggest problems with “national identities” and “cultures” is that they are built

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Does Finland and Europe need a civil rights movement?

One of the things that has surprised me about this blog are the overtly racist comments. These types of opinions resemble how some whites saw blacks in the United States before the civil rights movement. I do not think it has anything to do with expressing one’s opinions freely nor that some Finns and Europeans

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Being an immigrant in Finland: A letter from Ida

I do not usually do this. But I thought it was such a candid comment that I had to bring it to all of your attention. It reveals, in my opinion, what some foreigners feel about Finnish society but do not dare to say too loudly in public. Thank you Ida, I hope others follow

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Myths surrounding immigration to Finland

Reading posts and getting information on immigration in general in dynamic multicultural societies, one can pick out the myths that some Finns still use to claim that immigration is a bad thing. Myths 1) Immigration takes away jobs from Finns. 2) Immigrants come to Finland to take advantage of the welfare system. 3) Immigrants have

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Foreigners will help Finns see who they are

My father, who moved to Europe from Argentina at the age of 21in the early 1950s, told me that he never learned so much about himself except when he became a foreigner. In the same manner, and as more foreigners move to Finland, can they help us see the positive and negative aspects of our

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Some questions about immigration to Finland

Many thanks to all of you that have taken so actively part in the debate on immigration to Finland. There have been a wide spectrum of opinions over the issue. The most positive matter that these comments have shown is that we can debate them in a civil fashion. But there are some questions that

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Is there racism in Finland?

One of the most successful posts of this blog is, Are you a target of racism in Finland? In my opinion the reason why so many have read it is because there is a racism problem in Finland. A Niko wrote a recent comment, where he states, “there are some real problems in Finnish society

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