Theater of Cruelty

Asylum more than just stay


The 27. January I was extra proud to be Norwegian. Together with thousands of others, I demonstrated to the asylum court. So that people who are at risk of being tortured or killed should be allowed to ask for help and get a safe haven here in Norway.
Now the battle is over what kind of country we should be. Will we be a world leader in human rights and justice, or close the door for people in need?
Socialist Youth we want to be a country that helps. The SV is the only party to have voted against both rounds with unworthy refugee proposals from the other parties. I am proud to belong to the only party that puts human rights first. But in the struggle to help many, we must not forget the most important thing: that those who stay, should be helped in a good way.
Asylum helps you out of the immediate danger of life, but it is only when you integrate that you get a life.

The road to community. Nothing is more important for integration than language. And there is no better way to learn language than to use it for work. In a workplace, you learn both the language of a social community and through your work assignments.
Jobs provide salary, language and community. It gives everything the most important thing in life. It gives dignity.
Too many asylum seekers have to live on social contributions rather than being at work. Many struggle for weeks, months or years to get a job. Some will never get it. We fail the refugees – but also Norway – when they cannot contribute to the community. We cannot afford to have these resources outside working life.

Asylum helps you out of the immediate danger of life, but it is only when you integrate that you get a life.

Syrian refugees often have good education. In the midst of the atrocities of war, it is easy to forget that Syria has been a fairly developed country. These days we get nurses, doctors and engineers fleeing across the border. We need to secure a faster approval of their education and experience so that they can contribute in the next round.
Some come without formal qualifications. Then it is important that they gain experience as quickly as possible. Many refugees have to wait for months, if not years, for reception. Why shouldn't they be allowed to be part of the community? Why should we deny them the dignity of work? It's time to let them work from reception while they wait.

Think again. Some will still not get a job. They want to go with free work capacity and the desire for a community. At the same time, we know that there are many unfinished business in the public sector. Elderly people who need more care, schools that need to be refurbished and students who want to learn about life outside Norway. But instead of looking at the refugees as a resource we can use, we send them home with social benefits instead. I think we need to rethink this first phase of settlement. If we let the refugees contribute work for the benefits they received, they would have a social community, dignity and language, and Norway would have more warm hands and wise heads to perform important societal tasks. This will benefit everyone.
We will help as many as we can here in Norway, but we must remember that real help requires more than accommodation. It requires work. It is time to put the refugees to work. This is how we give the refugees a better future, and we build a stronger Norway.

Wilkinson is a leader in Socialist Youth.

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