The Immigrant Council met for its new term

The new Immigrant Council of the City of Tampere has been elected for a two-year term from 01.06.2023 to 31.05.2025. The Immigrant Council takes stands on issues concerning foreign-language speakers and promotes equality. The council members are people who have moved to Tampere from other countries.
Members and deputies of the Tampere Immigrant Council in a group photo.
The City of Tampere Immigrant Council met for the new term on 19th September 2023.

The Immigrant Council of the City of Tampere met for the first time for its new two-year term with its newly elected members on Tuesday, September 19. The Immigrant Council is an advisory body that takes stands, helps develop services for immigrants, and improves the equality of services and recruitment. In addition, the council promotes dialogue between different cultures and actively participates in work regarding the prevention of discrimination and racism.

The members of the Immigrant Council are selected on the basis of candidate nominations, after which the Tampere City Council appoints the members and deputy members for a two-year term. All immigrants living in Tampere can apply to become members of the council, and members can also be proposed by communities or parties. The Immigrant Council itself is not politically affiliated.

The multicultrural council deals with various different issues

Mahmoud Machaal, chairperson of the Immigrant Council, says that the council has a wide representation of different nationalities and language groups.

– We have representatives from Europe, Africa, America, and Asia. The goal of the Immigrant Council is to promote cross-cutting cooperation among the entire city's population, where all residents have equal opportunities to influence the well-being of the municipality and its citizens, regardless of their background, says Machaal.

The Immigrant Council covers a wide range of societal issues, and often the meetings have a certain theme the council has chosen to focus on. Subject matter experts from various city units and other organizations are invited to these meetings.

– We choose the topics for our meetings from current topics which we consider important and which we want to have influence on. For example, we have dealt with issues related to women's rights and the well-being of children and young people. When families move to Finland, it is important that the whole family can get integrated in the new country, says Machaal.


Kuvassa on Tampereen kaupungin Maahanmuuttajaneuvoston puheenjohtaja Mahmoud Machaal
Mahmoud Machaal, chairperson of the Immigrant Council, considers the council an important way of influencing for foreign-language speaking citizens of Tampere.

Instead of focusing on our differences, we should emphasize what unites us instead

The new term is Machaal's second as a chairperson of the Immigrant Council, but he has been a member of the council since 2011.

– I wanted to join the Immigrant Council because I am interested in human rights, and I have been actively involved in promoting them for a long time. The Immigrant Council gives immigrants the opportunity to influence our hometown, Tampere, and act as active players for a prosperous society.

In 2022, there were around 23,000 foreign-language speakers living in Tampere, and the number can be expected to grow in the future. In a city the size of Tampere, this means that about nine per cent of the population speak something other than Finnish, Swedish or Sami as their mother tongue.

– People come to Finland from very different backgrounds, but it is important that everyone feels welcome and safe here. Instead of thinking about what separates us, we should focus on what unites us, Machaal hopes.


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