Posts Tagged: refugees

The inhumane treatment of asylum seekers at the Greek-Turkish border may reveal what may happen at the Russian-Finnish border

Europe is good at hiding its very big dirty secrets. German news magazine Der Spiegel revealed the inhuman treatment of refugees at European borders by publishing a report on Frontex by the European anti-fraud office OLAF. And that’s not all: The Guardian reports that 92 naked refugees were rescued at the Greek-Turkish border. Writes Der

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How will we treat Ukrainian refugees in Finland?

The interior ministry estimates “tens of thousands” Ukrainians moving to Finland as a result of the war in that country, according to  Yle News. There are about 7,000 Ukrainians in Finland, but Anna Rundgren, a ministry of interior senior specialist, believes that the actual figure is several times higher. In 2015, the country saw a record

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A racist explanation by the chair of parliament’s foreign affairs committee of Finland why Ukrainian refugees are better than other ones

Despite all the objections to racism and Islamophobia in Finland, the silence and sub-rosa nods why such social ills continue to take root in the country. The chair of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Jussi Halla-aho of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, explained why Europe should open its arms to Ukrainians and shut the door on refugees

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Migrant Tales Literary: Fatima

Leo Honka Who is Fatima? Who is the person wishing us from the Joutseno immigration removal center a kind, “Good night. Loved ones.” Fatima is only a name. It houses no human because it is only a name written on paper by a plane dropping bombs, a tank shelling civilians, and a woman hoping for

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Facebook: REFUGEES WELCOME (TO FINLAND) ????

There are some disturbing reports that have emerged in the media about how some asylum seekers in Finland are getting a hostile reception. Trish Pääkkönen gives us a taste of what she went through when she tried to help a group of refugees at the the Helsinki and Espoo police stations.

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A cemetery called the Mediterranean

This will be one of the shortest posts ever published in Migrant Tales thanks to a picture published on the front page of El País of Madrid. Those dots on the water are people who got shipwrecked off the coast of Libya.

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When does a trickle become a flood when speaking of refugees?

When we speak of refugees, when does a trickle become a flood? Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Olli Immonen, the far right politician who warned us recently about the “nightmare of multiculturalism,” who uses and warns us of “an avalanche” of refugees since 1,000 more refugees came to the country in July versus the same period last year.

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Treating immigrants in Finland as the problem IS the problem

What’s wrong with the ongoing debate in Finland concerning immigration, refugees and cultural diversity? The problem is that they are treated as a problem by politicians, the media and public.*  Instead of treating these three matters as “a problem” we should make an effort to think outside of the current anti-immigration political climate and see them

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When the term immigrant becomes a red herring

If there is a report, a story or some tale that sounds fishy it may suggest a red herring. One of these types of stories that should have received more scrutiny from the media was a report published Thursday by Perussuomalaiset (PS)* thinktank Suomen Perusta, which attempted to place a price tag on immigration.  There are a lot of

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Four in five Swedes express concern over xenophobia

Swedes are more worried about the rise of xenophobia in their country than the ever-growing number of immigrants, according to The Local, citing a study by the SOM Institute of Gothenburg University. The survey revealed that while 49% expressed concern over immigration levels, 78% were worried about the rise of xenophobia.  Read full story here.

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How can you, Finland, loathe migrants and refugees if you were one?

How can a country like Finland, which saw over 1.2 million people emigrate during 1860-1999 and resettled 420,000 Karelian refugees after the Continuation War (1941-44) with the former Soviet Union, loathe migrants and speak contemptuously against refugees?  How do you explain the rise of an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) that grew from a mere

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Timo Soini’s latest comment about refugees leaves many speechless but exposes him to the raw

Sometimes politicians make incredible statements that leave you speechless. The latest one I heard was Thursday on a MEP election television debate on YLE Fem, the Swedish-language television channel. Said Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini: “Is it morally right to leave one’s homeland during ever-difficult times or should one stay put and fight for justice? Would it have been

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Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen is on the anti-immigration warpath again

Anti-immigration and anti-gay hardliner Christian Democrat interior minister, Päivi Räsänen, said on YLE in English that she’s in favor of tightening immigration policy further by closing a “loophole” for asylum seekers. Under the present law, those asylum seekers whose application has been turned down, can get temporary residence for two years before acquiring a permanent

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Bank accounts for the stateless – money laundering legislation is not an excuse for financial exclusion

This post follows on from a recent post by Enrique on continued practices of financial exclusion in relation to individuals who have had difficulties establishing their identification with Finnish authorities and have subsequently had problems opening bank accounts. It is also a response to one commentator’s fallacious claim that money laundering legislation is an adequate

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Strict banking laws in Finland leave refugees without bank accounts and discourage foreign investment

Stateless refugees cannot still open bank accounts in regions like Etelä-Savo in Eastern Finland, according to Länsi-Savo, a Mikkeli-based daily. Not only are stateless persons affected but different municipalities that want to attract foreign investment. Some small- and medium-sized companies that want to relocate in Finland from Russia have a difficult time opening bank account

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Saving one life, one refugee from Syria, IS important

Arguing that accepting a few hundred refugees from Syria is not important because it is a drop in the bucket, is an outrageous statement made by Jussi Halla-aho, Vesa-Matti Saarakkala and others. The other point they are trying to drive home, that these people will be a burden on Finland, exposes their loathing and ignorance.

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How Syrian refugees fleeing war show how the Finnish media gives (again) racists inflated respectability and importance

Migrant Tales published a while back a story about how the media gives racists and radical anti-immigration groups inflated respectability and importance. Why should we care what a Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP like Jussi Halla-aho, who was on top of it convicted for ethnic agitation, thinks about giving asylum to Syrian refugees?  Verkkouutiset is run by the

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Edward Snowden would help to put to rest Finland’s Cold War legacy

Wikileaks said in a statement that whistleblower Edward Snowden had asked for political asylum in twenty-one countries, one of which included Finland. Understanding Finland’s history and its historic suspicion of foreigners, granting a high-profile asylum seeker like Snowden asylum in Finland would not only help to put to rest for good our poor record but have

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women for refugee women: the everyday sexism project

The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis.  For women refugees, uprooted in another country, or displaced within their own country, these experiences of sexism are often extreme and can be life threatening.  According to the UN, there are approximately 40 million women and

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Migrant Tales Literary with Le monde n’est pas: Around Europe by Miguel Velayos

Comment: I came across this neat website on Twitter called Le monde n’est pas rond  (The world is not round). The website describes itself as “an international artistic newspaper, based in Luxembourg, that explores the contemporary realities of migration, borders, and human rights through the publication of articles, art and illustration, photography, prose and poetry.” Why not

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Migrant Tales literary: How high must a wall be to contain hope?

Dedicated to the EU and Donald Trump By Leo Honka No wall can contain hope. It’s a fact but go and build your high wall To hide the destruction you’ve reaped: pillaging riches, pillaging hope leaving people and whole nations devastated, without future. Source: Westmonster. Now we’re knocking on your door With a sentence in

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ELTbites: What you can and can’t say in class

By Richard Gresswell This blog post is kind of a follow on from the previous one inspired by the film ‘Blackboards’. Watching it again brought back memories of the many Kurdish students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching during my time as an ESOL tutor. I want to tell you a story about one of

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How much further? A film about the lives of refugees in Greece

This documentary about refugees in Greece is a stark reminder of how Greek authorities and the European Union have turned their backs on asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants. The answer is not higher border fences or fear-mongering by politicians, but finding proactive solutions that take into account the needs and human rights of these people.

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Greece and its bad case of ethnic profiling and scapegoating

The Greek Police announced that 16,836 foreign nationals were brought for questioning  during the first month that Xenios Zeus was instigated, according to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). A staggering 80% of those brought in for questioning were legal residents. Only 2,144 held by the police didn’t have their residence permits in

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Amnesty International Annual Report 2012 criticizes Finland for accelerated asylum procedures

Amnesty International (AI) has criticized Finland in its Annual Report 2012 for accelerated asylum procedures, which include forced returns to Baghdad, according to YLE.  The report noted as well that Finland was unable to provide figures on how many irregular migrants and asylum-seekers it detained during the year. AI reports: “However, there were concerns that

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Finland’s cold war era: media censorship and suspicion of the outside world

How much did censorship and self-censorship affect Finland during the cold war? The answer to that question lies in the dusty archives of Finland’s media. What kinds of editorials did Helsingin Sanomat write about the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and what did our major dailies say about what happened in Czechoslovakia in 1968? What kind of press freedom was there in a country were discussing, never mind questioning, the official foreign policy line was forbidden?

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Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from July 21, 1993

Migrant Tales publishes on and off Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish) from the 1990s. Taking into account that Finland’s immigrant population started to grow during that decade, it is easy at least through some of the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how some of them reflected our xenophobic and racist views.

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Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from October 5, 1992

Migrant Tales will begin to publish Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish) from the 1990s. Taking into account that Finland’s immigrant population started to grow during that decade, it is easy at least through some of the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how some of them reflected our xenophobic and racist views.

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Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from September 21, 1992

Migrant Tales will begin to publish Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish) from the 1990s. Taking into account that Finland’s immigrant population started to grow during that decade, it is easy at least through the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how some of them reflected our xenophobic and racist views.

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Stateless persons do not have the right to open a bank account in Finland

Here is a pretty odd case that I encountered Monday when I went to Nordea bank in Mikkeli to open an account for a stateless person. After a few questions, the bank employee said that the person needs a valid passport to open an account at that bank. But if on that passport it reads “his/her identity cannot be confirmed,” the person can never open an account at Nordea.

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Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from October 24, 1992

Migrant Tales will begin to publish Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish) from the 1990s. Taking into account that Finland’s immigrant population started to grow during that decade, it is easy at least through the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how they reflected some people’s xenophobic and racist views.

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Turun Sanomat: Osa turvapaikanhakijoista maksaa salakuljetuksensa sosiaalituella

Osa Suomeen salakuljetetuista turvapaikanhakijoista maksaa matkansa sosiaalituellaan. Viranomaisilla on runsaasti viitteitä salakuljetuksen ostamisesta velaksi. – Tutkimuksissa on selvinnyt, että rahamaksuja välitetään lähtömaihin. Heti kun turvapaikanhakija saa toimeentulotukea, hän lähettää säännöllisesti rahaa Western Unionin tai Forexin kautta kotimaahansa, Länsi-Suomen merivartioston rikostorjuntayksikön tutkinnanjohtaja Matti Hägerström kertoo.

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Dear Anti-Immigration groups

My great grandfather was a refugee from Italy. I admire and respect him so much that I gave one of my sons his first name. I have lived in many countries as an immigrant and I am proud of this as well.

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What racism means to me

For me, racism, like indifference, is the worst social ill that inflicts our societies. Because racism has to survive and because racism is astute, it has found many ingenious ways of hiding its snister self and motives.

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IOM: World Migration Report 2010

The World Migration Report 2010 (WMR 2010) will be the fifth in IOM’s series of biennial reports on international migration. Like the World Migration Reports that have preceded it, it is intended to contribute to the mission of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) to promote ‘humane and orderly policies in the movement of persons across borders’. Specifically, its aim is to promote a focus on building capacities to enable states and other stakeholders to respond to and plan for migration effectively and in a sustainable way.

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EDITORIAL: Has racism inflicted Finland?

Taking into account the underwhelming size of the immigrant and refugee community, what have we done wrong and why are we the focus of daily insults, racism and abuse? Even the Social Democrats, the party that has championed for the rights of the working man, has aligned itself close to the True Finns in immigration policy.

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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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