Around 100 street beggars remain in Finland
Around 100 street beggars from Romania and Bulgaria have remained in Finland for the winter. They have found shelter in overcrowded one-room apartments and on the streets as no new camp has been constructed. The National Bureau of investigation says some of the Romania Roma may be here against their will. However, claims of human trafficking are not being followed up as the Roma remain tight lipped.
Those working among the Romanian roma say that most of them stay overnight in small apartments housing dozens of people. In Vantaa, one person has given shelter to around ten people.
Each of them presents harrowing tales of difficult and poor conditions back home, and of their poor state of health. Thanks to the Helsinki Deaconess Institute, they are able to receive medical attention. At a day centre in the Sörnäinen district of Helsinki, the street beggars can wash, cook and rest.
All say they beg money to help their children back home. It has cost them between 150 and 300 euros to get to Finland, they claim.
According to the National Board of Investigation (NBI), over ten people were convicted in Romania for human trafficking last year. They had brought people to Finland and forced them to beg, play in the street, steal or work on building sites for low wages. The NBI took part in the investigations.
Since last summer, investigations have not continued. Romanian’s living in Helsinki say they have not heard of cases of human trafficking. (via YLE Uutiset)