Seems Like Non-Western Refugees Aren’t Getting Much Love in Finland

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Non-Western refugees seemed as deserving less support in Finland

Non-Western refugees and immigrants are perceived as deserving less support in Finland, according to a study of the University of Helsinki.

The pervasive failure to address racism within the framework of integration for people labelled as refugees and immigrants serves as a barrier to achieving genuine inclusivity, said the study conducted by Ameera Masoud of the Department of Education of the university.

Terming the Finnish integration system as filled with paradoxes, the researchers focused on three paradoxes of the system.

The first one being the contrast between the ideal portrayal of Finland as a country of equality, and the reality that Finland is also proven to be among the most racist countries, when compared to other EU member states.

Each year brings forth a growing body of research showing how people of colour, Black people, and those of non-Western origins experience racism in every facet of their daily lives in Finland – be it in education, employment, integration, and beyond.

“Racism was also one of the main challenges encountered by the participants in my research as they navigate through various integration practices. However, addressing racism through concrete anti-racist solutions is still overlooked in relation to integration,” said the researcher.

A second paradox in integration is that despite the continuous calls for work-based immigration and the need to attract more workers to Finland, finding a decent job is still a challenging reality for many who already reside in Finland, and are unemployed.

The immigration policy set by the current government consists of even more restrictions, which will carry more exclusion and hinder access to the labour-market, especially for people labelled as refugees and immigrants.

For instance, those who are on a work-based residence permit would be forced to depart Finland, if they do not find a job within three months of unemployment.

Despite the claim to enhance integration, the current government is offering contradictory policy restrictions that have implications for integration, making it harder to establish a decent and equal life in Finland. This involves shortening the period of residence permits and prolonging the process of obtaining citizenship.

A third paradox that came to light, is in relation to how people categorized as refugees and immigrants are perceived as deserving or less deserving of support and integration.

For example, since the war on Ukraine has started, a distinct narrative has re-emerged, portraying non-Western refugees, asylum-seekers, and immigrants, as markedly different in their culture and values, and in some instances, perceived as threats to “European values”.

These portrayals have been fuelled by racialized assumptions, painting a challenging picture of their integration process. This perception continues to shape the policies and practices surrounding integration, having a significant impact on the ongoing discourse.

“It is essential to recognise the consequences of these racialized depictions and threat narratives as we navigate the complexities of integration policies and practices,” said the researcher.

According to the study, there are drastic implications of remaining silent about racism and the reluctance to recognise it as one of the main barriers towards inclusive integration. This tendency hinders addressing racism systematically, rendering it an overlooked aspect.

Despite the official promotion of equality and equity within Finnish and EU integration policies, coupled with an emerging emphasis on anti-racism, integration practices perpetuate racialized practices.

The policies persist in framing refugees and immigrants as individuals responsible for navigating inherent inequities.

Racism has been asserted as something that is temporary, implying that it will eventually fade away on its own.

By asserting that racism is temporary and not systematic, professionals silence refugees’ and immigrants’ experiences of racism. This perspective fails to acknowledge the entrenched systematic nature of racism and the ongoing need for sustained efforts to address it.

“My analysis reveals the importance of examining integration from an anti-racist perspective. It is also essential to set practical anti-racist interventions to shift and dismantle the unequal power relations embedded in integration processes. Such a focus is still missing,” the researcher added.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

11 Comments
  1. EmilyJones85 says

    Do you think the findings of this study will lead to tangible changes in the support provided to non-Western refugees in Finland?

    1. JohnDoe72 says

      As a Finn, I believe it is crucial for these findings to spark meaningful action towards improving the support for non-Western refugees in Finland. It is imperative that we address the underlying issues of racism and discrimination to create a more inclusive society for all immigrants and refugees.

  2. Aaliyah Thompson says

    Non-Western refugees and immigrants are often seen as less deserving of support in Finland, which hinders genuine inclusivity efforts. Racism remains a significant challenge faced by many individuals navigating integration practices in the country. There is a pressing need to address racism through concrete anti-racist solutions to truly promote integration.

  3. EmilySmith123 says

    Do you think the findings of this study will lead to tangible changes in the way non-Western refugees are supported in Finland?

    1. AlexJohnson89 says

      It’s crucial that the findings of this study prompt actionable steps to improve support for non-Western refugees in Finland. Without concrete changes, the systemic barriers they face will persist, hindering genuine inclusivity and integration.

  4. SarahBrown82 says

    It’s disheartening to see the discrimination faced by non-Western refugees in Finland. The study findings highlight the urgent need for addressing racism in the integration process. Finland must take concrete anti-racist steps to promote true inclusivity and equality for all.

  5. EmilyJohnson says

    Do you think the Finnish government will take concrete steps to address the racism faced by non-Western refugees and immigrants, following the results of this study?

  6. Emily Taylor says

    It’s truly disheartening to see that non-Western refugees are not receiving the support they deserve in Finland. This study highlights the urgent need to address racism within the integration framework to truly achieve inclusivity. It’s time for concrete anti-racist solutions to be prioritized in integration efforts.

  7. Anna Smith says

    It’s disheartening to hear that non-Western refugees and immigrants are facing such discrimination in Finland. Racism should be addressed head-on to ensure true inclusivity and equality for all individuals. It’s high time for concrete anti-racist solutions to be implemented in integration practices.

  8. MiaJohnson1987 says

    Do you think the Finnish government is taking any steps to address the racism faced by non-Western refugees and immigrants? It seems like a crucial issue that needs immediate attention.

  9. Elise Thompson says

    As a person who has experienced the challenges of integration firsthand, it does not come as a surprise to me that non-Western refugees are facing a lack of support in Finland. The study’s findings highlight the urgent need for Finland to address its deep-rooted racism and implement concrete anti-racist solutions to create a more inclusive society. It’s time for Finland to live up to its reputation as a country of equality and take real action towards genuine integration for all individuals, regardless of their background.

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