The way immigrants are spoken about today pushes people to the margins of society


When we talk about immigration, we talk about people. These days, people who have made their home in our country are often spoken of as if they are a single homogenous group. Such talk overlooks that each person is an individual, someone with their own dreams and aspirations. Every one of us needs to have both contact with others and to be seen as an individual.

Kolme ihmistä istuu puistossa hymyillen ja nyrkit yhteen liitettynä.

Generalisations and discriminatory speech about people who have immigrated can often drive them to the margins of society, which in turn weakens security within society. By making sure that everybody feels they are part of Finnish society, we can make our country safer. We can all help to do this by what we do and say, and how we act.

We can focus attention on how we meet another person. We can invite people to get involved, to have influence, to make decisions. We can challenge racism and discrimination whenever we encounter it. We can look people in the eye, sit next to them, ask them if they are all right.

We appeal to everyone, from ordinary citizens to decision-makers: let’s work together for humanity. We ask everyone to treat one another with respect and to promote equality through our words and actions. As adults, we also need to set an example for children and youth that will have a positive influence on the kind of future they are building.

Acting for equality is defending human dignity.

This appeal for equality and non-discrimination is put forward by the following non-governmental organisations involved in receiving asylum seekers and providing integration support at a national level:

The Finnish Red Cross, The Martha Association, the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters, the Family Federation of Finland, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, Home Accommodation Network (Kotimajoituksen tuki), the Federation of Special Welfare Organisations (EHJÄ ry), the Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses, Startup Refugees, MIELI Mental Health Finland, The Finnish Association of the Deaf, Finnish Refugee Council, Yhdessä – Käsi kädessä ry, Moniheli – Strength in Diversity, Sahan-seura ry, Vammaisfoorumi ry, Hilma – The Support Centre for Immigrant Persons with Disabilities and Long-term Illnesses, the Sivis Study Centre, Silta-Valmennusyhdistys ry, the Cultura Foundation sr, Tutu – Support for Asylum Seekers, the Deaconess Foundation and the Migration Institute of Finland.

The network of NGOs involved in the national-level reception of asylum seekers and integration support is coordinated by the Finnish Red Cross. Dozens of organisations are involved in the work to help people become integrated within Finland

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