Researcher of the month: Nafisa Yeasmin

15.10.2013 15:31

Nafisa Yeasmin is a researcher in the Sustainable Development research group and a member of NPE team at the Arctic Centre and a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Lapland. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on immigration policies in the Barents Region. It is a study on international and national norms and policies in practice.

I have completed my masters’ in Law from Rajshahi University, Bangladesh, although my dream was to become a medical doctor. I started working life directly as a teacher in a law college after I had completed my university study. I taught Law of Contract and Tort, Labor & Industrial Law as well. After four years’, I became a lecturer in the Prime University in Bangladesh. I taught the same courses at bachelor and masters’ level, at the same time I coordinated LL.M dissertation course (external) program. Everything was going well in home. However moved to Rovaniemi with my family in 2006.

npe_blog_nafisa.jpgAfter coming Rovaniemi, I studied Finnish language one year and a half, then went to Finnish working life. I have completed a supplementary course named “multicultural education and guidance” at the University of Lapland and after that I taught tolerance education to the adolescent in a few elementary schools in Rovaniemi. I worked for a long period of time with immigrants and their well-being in Rovaniemi. Since I am an immigrant, far away from my home, I took it as an interesting job. In the meantime, I have involved with some organizations related to immigrants.

I thought it is possible to do something for heterogenous immigrants’ residing in Lapland, who cannot express their position and cannot make their voices heard, which is the auspicious condition for human development. My husband encouraged me to be a researcher. I have chosen the Barents Region as my research area because I would like to know throughout my research how Immigrants (refugees mostly) from other part of the world are trying to cope in the extreme cold weather where migration lacks coherent rules among regional governments, because currently there is no common policy for regional migrants and immigrants from outside the region. The states of this region have some policies which are not legally binding .There is no regional based working group on to work for the wellbeing of immigrants of the region and to take care the interaction between native and immigrants. However, the overall situations of the region does not seem entirely supportive to immigrants to conduct a business in the region- diverse treatments towards immigrants are found mainly generated from their various origins and skills.

It is important to maintain balanced attention to migrants and attention to host community to avoid accusations of favoritism. Immigrants need to be assured that there is equal access to resources and services. Many migrants in this region have to endure human rights violations, discrimination, exploitation and labor market segregation. Those issues have made me to think for conducting research on this topic. I desire a sustainable immigration strategy; including enhancing the capability of immigrants to local issues may achieve a stronger economic development. Research on Barents Immigration is a new field .My doctoral study aims to explore the concrete benefits for immigrant communities as well as Barents societies for future development.

My hobby is cooking food for my family and for friends, travelling with my children, playing harmonium, swimming, watching movies in leisure period and walking. I like Bangladeshi traditional spicy foods, different kinds of Finnish buns and cakes-after coming Rovaniemi I have learnt to drink coffee which I do not like fully yet, but a cup of coffee in the morning with my colleagues, makes me happy.