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Immigrant youths face higher risk of alienation

More efforts should be made to prevent the alienation of immigrant youths in society, says an expert researcher from Statistics Finland. The marginalisation percentage of Finnish and Swedish youths is 4.7 compared to 20 percent among other language speakers.

Nuorisoa Kampin keskuksessa.
Image: Yle

Researcher Pekka Myrskylä has called on the government to give more priority to the plight of immigrant youths as part of its Youth Guarantee project. The alienation of young people has become a highly debated issue, worrying politicians as well as the President. However actual cases of alienation are not on the increase.  

"It actually went down until the 2009 recession after which it increased slightly," says Myrskylä, the researcher behind most statistics and facts on the issue.

But a huge gap still exists between the level of alienation between the indigenous population and immigrants. Figures issued by Statistics Finland indicate the rate among Finnish and Swedish speaking youths to be 4.7 percent compared to 20 percent for those speaking other languages.

Myrskylä's definition of a marginalised youth is an individual without higher education who is neither enrolled in school nor working.

On Thursday the researcher is due to meet with President Sauli Niinistö, who has announced the establishment of a working group to examine alienation in society.

While praising the government’s strategy of a Youth Guarantee, Myrskylä says it does not go far enough in tackling problems faced by immigrant youths or those young people taken into foster care.

Minister of Labour Lauri Ihalainen has defended the Youth Guarantee project but admits more funds are needed to promote the integration and education of immigrant youths.

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