Somalis in Norway’s capital face challenges – new report / News / The Foreigner

Somalis in Norway’s capital face challenges – new report. The international human rights organization Open Society Foundations’ (OSF) fresh study documents the experiences of Somalis living in Oslo. Drawing data from interviews and discussion groups with both Norwegian-Somalis and key stakeholders in the city, it points out that many Norwegian-Somalis feel excluded from the society. One of the report’s important aspects is how the media has helped shape people’s perception of Norwegian-Somalis, which has further increased their sense of exclusion.

norwayimmigration, norwayintegration, foreignersnorway



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Somalis in Norway’s capital face challenges – new report

Published on Wednesday, 11th December, 2013 at 20:17 under the news category, by Linn Schjerven.
Last Updated on 11th December 2013 at 20:43.

The international human rights organization Open Society Foundations’ (OSF) fresh study documents the experiences of Somalis living in Oslo.

Oslo skyline
Oslo skyline
Photo: Inez Dawczyk/The Foreigner


Drawing data from interviews and discussion groups with both Norwegian-Somalis and key stakeholders in the city, it points out that many Norwegian-Somalis feel excluded from the society.

One of the report’s important aspects is how the media has helped shape people’s perception of Norwegian-Somalis, which has further increased their sense of exclusion.

Participants stated that the negative image that the Norwegian media portrays has affected their everyday lives in Oslo.

Researcher Cindy Horst, from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), told Aftenposten that the media’s often negative focus on the Norwegian-Somali environment could become self-reinforcing for young people.

“They are so disillusioned that they give up, they no longer want to strive to be included,” she said.

The opposite reaction has also been documented, though, as this group takes the adversity as a challenge.

“They continue on. They try to find another method if they don’t succeed with one,” Ms. Horst told the paper.

The report also looked at the housing and employment situation for Norwegian-Somalis in Oslo. It seemed to be especially challenging.

Only 16 percent of Norwegian-Somalis owned their own home in a country where the majority of people are homeowners.

Discrimination in the private housing market and the reluctance by Norwegian-Somalis to take out mortgages are some of the explanations for the low home ownerships.

Employment was also a key area of focus. Just 40 percent of men and 23.1 percent of women aged 30 to 59 were employed (January 2013 figures).

The report justifies the low employment rate partly due to the fact the lack of formal qualifications. The majority of Somali-Norwegians’ do not match up in a country lacking options for unskilled laborers.

“A major challenge for many Somalis is the gap between their lack of qualifications and that the Norwegian [job] market stipulates,” said Ms. Horst.

Both stakeholders and Norwegian-Somalis should engage more with each other, Ms. Horst and the report recommend.

In her interview with Aftenposten, Ms. Horst stated she believes that Somalis themselves should become more active in public debates, such as gaining more expertise in handling the media.

Her opinion is also that projects such as Linkarbeidere in Gamle Oslo, should be expanded.

The Oslo Municipality initiative aims to contribute “to a better adaptation of public services to citizens of Somali origin.

It is intended to help Norwegian-Somali newcomers with work, housing, education, health and other social issues through the establishment of a municipal advisory service,” officials say. This part is funded by the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi).

Somalis in Oslo is part of a research series conducted in seven European cities by the Open Society Foundations’ At Home in Europe project. The other cities are Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Malmö, Leicester, and London.




Published on Wednesday, 11th December, 2013 at 20:17 under the news category, by Linn Schjerven.
Last updated on 11th December 2013 at 20:43.

This post has the following tags: norwayimmigration, norwayintegration, foreignersnorway.





  
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