Posts Tagged: migrants

Dr. Gareth Rice: The Finnish happiness myth

When asked about racism towards foreigners in Finland, Finns answer in a culturally approved script: “We Finns are not racist”; “If there is racism in Finland it is not as bad as it is in other countries” and; “Racism is the fault of the foreigners who move to Finland with unrealistic expectations.” Such dismissals require willful ethnic blindness to racism,

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Migrant Tales 7 years ago…Osaatko suomea? Can you speak Finnish?

by Migrant Tales, under Muhamed Abdimajed Murshid This cartoon by Muhamed Abdimajed Murshid was published seven years ago (18.5.2013) in Otavan Sanomat, a magazine project by the students of Otava Folk High School. The cartoon shows what a lot of migrants face when studying and learning to speak Finnish. Picture one: Studying Finnish in the beginning. Picture

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QUOTE OF THE DAY Khadidiatou Sylla: Success and hatred

Khadidiatou Sylla gave a talk at Turin’s Casarcobaleno this month together with Mor Ndaiye about life in Italy. There was a lot of intersectionality that came out  in her talk: being black, being a woman, third culture, West African, Italian cultural and ethnic diversity, among others. Education and labor markets in Europe are highly racialized

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The PS is a far-right, populist party that hopes to strike election gold with the sexual assault cases of Oulu by migrants

Imagine a political party that jumps for joy when migrants are suspected of sexual assault like in the case of Oulu. Imagine a party that taps into voters’ Islamophobia, xenophobia and hatred to get votes. Imagine a party that aims at relegating migrants and minorities to second-class members of society with the help of lies and fake news. 

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Warning: Islamophobic content – schools and daycare centers in Oulu to temporarily ban visiting rights by asylum seekers, refugees

Here is a story you would never expect to read in a country like Finland, which bases its values on social equality, human rights and mutual respect. The decision to ban asylum seekers and refugees from visiting schools and daycare centers in Oulu due to the suspected sexual abuse cases raises a lot of questions. 

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MP Ozan Yanar is right: President Sauli Niinistö’s New Year’s speech is problematic

Whenever President Sauli Niinistö comments about asylum seekers, migrants and minorities there is usually a problem (see links below). Those of us who are anti-racist activists, will never forget his two-extremes argument, which puts people who fight to defend human rights as one extreme with the other extreme consisting of Neo-Nazis and other far-right groups

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Indefinite detention of a naturalized Finn held without any charges by the police

Migrant Tales insight: We got an email from a reader who was worried about the fate of her partner, who is a Russian-speaking Estonian with Finnish citizenship. He has been detained since 11.10.2018 but still has not been charged with any crime. The woman doesn’t know what will happen and her partner’s lawyer has made it clear that she has still not been made aware of the nature of the case. How long can the Finnish police hold someone without any charges?

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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä fuels Finland’s hostile environment for migrants

While I was not surprised by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s comments about migration and the rise of the far right in YLE’s Ykkösaamu talk show, the interview offers a good example of how his government continues to fuel Finland’s hostile environment for migrants.  According to Adrian Berry, a leading UK immigration lawyer, defined in in The Guardian, the

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Pressiklubi gives simplistic, apologetic view on how the Finnish media is “more balanced” today when writing about non-white Finns

It is surprising to hear how some politicians and journalists continue to have simplistic and apologetic views of racism and bigotry in this country. If YLE’s Päivi Happonen and Atte Kaleva’s words are to be believed on Pressiklubi, the Finnish media has finally woken up and writes more balanced stories about migrants and minorities that live in Finland. 

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Facebook Zimema Mhone: Clarification on why “I am cheaper”

Migrant Tales insight: Zimema Mhone has done some stories for us and he now posted something on Facebook that too many foreigners and minorities face in Finland. Did you know that nationally in 2014 foreigners earned 27.3% less at 21,479 euros/year compared with 29,550 euros, according to Pasi Saukkonen. In Helsinki, the gap was even higher

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Helsingin Sanomat survey on migrants reveals expectations that adaption in Finland is and will be a one-way process

Finland’s largest daily, Helsingin Sanomat, published a survey Friday about the minimum requirements that foreigners should adapt to if living here. Seventy-seven percent fully agreed that white Finns should be able to shake hands with both sexes. The survey showed as well that 52% were against women’s-only swimming hours and that 37% felt that one should bathe naked in the sauna. 

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(Announcement) 2017 Summer School Migration in Southern Europe: Solidarity, Crisis and Beyond

This seven-day course “Migration in Southern Europe: Solidarity, Crisis and Beyond” will investigate the developments, challenges and the impact of the migration and refugee crisis on southern European societies and on migrant populations. It will also explore the prospects for improving the current management of issues and relevant social policies. In conjunction with the lectures

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(Asylum Corner) Reporting on migration: magnifying glass or distorting lens?

On January 25th, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) brought together a large group of experts and well-known panellists in Brussels to debate the ways to balance the narrative on migration on both sides of the Mediterranean. During the event, which relates to the scope of the EUROMED Migration IV project, Aidan White, director of the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), presented the first report on the study he is currently conducting on behalf of ICMPD about media and migration in the Mediterranean area.

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The “Denmarkization” of Finnish immigration policy

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) are eager to pass legislation that will not only hurt asylum seekers but all migrants and minorities that live in Finland. After breaking almost all of their campaign promises and after their poll rating have plummeted to single-digit percentages, the PS only have one trump card left in their political bag of tricks: anti-immigration rhetoric and policy.

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Helsingin Sanomat article on refugees is an exercise in stereotyping

One matter has always surprised me about Finnish journalists is how they stereotype and allow their own value judgements and prejudices get in the way of facts. A good example is a story by Jukka Harju who not only mistakenly claims that the first refugees came to Finland over 40 years ago but which nationality adapted the best in Finland.

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The Hieno: Finland is not for the ambitious

[Edits: This is a personal blog. A rant post like the following, in all its raw honesty, IS emotionally charged. So here is a non-provocative version. For concrete evidence on why I lack faith in the current Finnish economy for the next 1-5 years, read “Why Finland is not for the ambitious: A Macroeconomic Perspective”.Fundamentally, I am against mediocrity because I know Finns are smart and more of them can become world leaders should the system support and reward ambition–Read My Open Reply: In Praise of Ambition, Slush 2015 and Vision for Finland.

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Migrants’ Rights Network: In this migration crisis, common humanity isn’t enough. We need to reimagine who ‘we’ are

One of the dominant features of the national discourse concerning the plight of the Calais migrants in recent weeks has been the dehumanising language applied to the men, women and children risking their lives in desperation to find lasting safety. This reached its peak with Prime Minister David Cameron referring to ‘swarms’ of migrants attempting to reach the UK and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond describing the ‘threat’ of ‘marauding’ African migrants.

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Eva Biaudet: Finland’s ever-culturally and ethnically diverse society in the new century (Part I)

Swedish People’s Party (SPP) MP Eva Biaudet has made a name for herself defending those that don’t have a voice in society and those who are most vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation. If there is a person that can give a picture of where Finland is or should be heading in this century as our country becomes ever-culturally and ethnically diverse, that person is certainly Biaudet.

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Migrant Tales Literary: A return in Pixles

I pulled out my laptop and went on Google Earth. I typed in my mother’s childhood home address, but Google Earth didn’t recognize any matching location. I decided to turn to my mother and carried the spacecraft-like laptop to her. After placing it on top of an orange table mat, I asked her to help me

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Timo Soini and the PS: “What goes around comes around”

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman Timo Soini has good acting skills and a poor memory. At a press conference Thursday he told us about the death threats he’s received. I know how he feels because I too have received such death threats possibly from people inspired by the PS’ populist and hateful ideology.  Even if I’ve lived in

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How to tell a Finnish politician that he or she sounds racist

The atmosphere for migrants and minorities in Finland is going to get worse as parliamentary elections near in April 2015. Two recent cases, Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Tom Packalén and National Coalition Party MP Pia Kauma, reinforce that matters are going to get worse before they improve. A good way to uncover these opportunistic politicians’ motives

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Apparently few migrants and minorities attended the National Sports Forum

Some claim that one of the problems that migrants and minorities face in Finland is that they are underrepresented in different associations.  Last Sunday, the National Sports Forum held a meeting in Helsinki to talk about the future of sports in Finland. Gathering from the picture below, it’s clear that few migrants and minorities were

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Zuzeeko’s blog: 1960-style racial abuse in a store in Finland, and silent onlookers

Zuzeeko Tegha Abeng* Things happen in modern-day Finland that look like scenes out of the U.S. in the 1960s when black people, such as 6-year-old Ruby Bridges, were taunted by angry members of the white community who opposed racial integration of public schools. Ihmisoikeusliitto, a human rights organisation that monitors the human rights situation in

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Pekka Myrskylä: “Why aren’t we debating about why [white] Finns buy alcohol with social aid?”

National Coalition Party MP Pia Kauma has proven with her victimization of migrant mothers and migrants that prejudices have deep roots. No matter how much you expose an outright lie, your evidence will have little impact because some people are set in their prejudices and beliefs. Kauma continues to be adamant: She will not apologize

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Dr Theodoros Fouskas: Nigerian Immigrants in Greece: Low-Status Work, Community, and Decollectivization

Migrant Tales insight: Dr Theodoros Fouskas, a lecturer at the New York College, Greece, is no stranger to our blog. We’ve published two stories about his research and work. Taking into account the economic and political hardships that Greece faces and how this had impacted migrants, Migrant Tales believes it has a responsibility to show the good

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PS MP forced to explain why he refused to take a taxi driven by a non-white Finn

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports that two sources saw Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Mika Niikko refuse take a taxi in front of parliament because the driver was”dark-skinned.” Niikko later retracted his version of events to the reporter after the interview. He said that since the incident took place a year ago, he now remembers the driver to be

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How the Finnish media continues to be part of the problem by reinforcing stereotypes and racist perceptions of migrants and minorities

A news story about migrant crime was published by the Lahti-based Etelä-Suomen Sanomat with a provocative drawing of a black man’s arms handcuffed. Migrant Tales got in touch with the reporter that wrote the story and asked why it was considered news at the end of July if it was based on a study published by The

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Finland is not a land of opportunity but a land of poverty for most migrants

According to Statistics Finland’s Working Paper series, Finland is no land of opportunity for migrants, writes Pekka Myrskylä. The Statistics Finland’s development manager claims that the employment level of Estonians and Thai citizens matches that of ethnic Finns. The majority of migrants live in poverty in Finland, according to him.   If what Myrskyä writes

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