Interview to Jyrki Linnankivi on Finnish MTV3

Date: 23. January, 2013
Channel: MTV3, Finland
Programme: Huomenta Suomi (Good Morning Finland)
Headline: Unicefin lähettiläs lapsikauppaa vastaan (Unicef Ambassador against Child Trafficking)

Host: Lauri Karhuvaara (LK)
Guest: Jyrki Linnankivi (JL)

entrevista MTV3

Translated into English the interview to Jyrki Linnankivi on Finnish MTV3:

LK: A well-known man in the studio: Jyrki Linnankivi, Jyrki 69 Eyes. Good morning, welcome.

JL: Good morning.

LK: Unicef Ambassador, it is a great post, but it makes you to face many different things. You just arrived from Nicaragua. What is top on your mind?

JL: Very beautiful country, the poorest country in Central America. It is beautiful in every way, the people are really beautiful too, you know, they are glad, coffee bean -coloured happy eyes, little smiles.

LK: Let’s look at the photos [of the places] where you visited. So, what kind of people you met there? You said that they are glad – despite of what?

JL: Well, my Unicef-mission focused this time on sexual exploitation of children and child trafficking, the most darkest issues of all, and despite of this the people I met have hope. And Unicef gives the opportunity to move forward, despite of the dark issue. The cases there were really hard. I met for example three young girls who had been sexually exploited. One [girl] had been kidnapped and raped and was unconscious for two weeks. Another [girl] was sold by her mother to be a sex worker and so on. Poverty makes people to do this kind of extreme acts. Unicef is integrated in a way that they can help with these issues and make changes, also with the support of Nicaraguan government.

LK: How common it is there – let’s talk about very hard issues although it is morning; you tend to speak the truth about what you have seen – how common it is, for example in families with a lot of children, that parents, mothers, sell their children to be sex slaves?

JL: Well, like said, the 50 % of the population are under 18 years old. In this sense it is adolescents’ and children’s state. Statistically a woman gives birth to four children. Families are very big and you can just guess, in a case of extreme poverty, that it drives people to do this kind of extreme acts. However, with the help of Unicef, people are tried to be educated so that these adolescents and children undestand what is wrong and what is right, what is allowed to do to them etc. It is one kind of prevention. And I think that the greatest thing I faced, telling [you] earlier about the hard case, was how these girls were rescued: Unicef has created a women’s and children’s police. First time the police force has own unit which intervenes these cases. So, if Unicef brings your mind for example famine and wells in Africa etc…

LK: Yes.

JL: …at least to me this was new, that Unicef is also involved with this kind of [acts], creating for example police posts.

LK: But how Unicef and you as an Ambassador were taken? I mean, you asked very sensitive questions and they told you [their stories]. There must be some who does not necessarily like it.

JL: Well, as an Ambassador I am that kind of person, I think I have a freedom to say almost anything. And because I am this kind of a character, my approach to those who have experienced cruel fates is a little bit different. I have always been warmly welcomed. The connection comes from my way to be a friend with those people. I am not an official supervisor or, you know, a social worker who comes to see what is happening. I come as a friend, we go through the stories and then my thought is to bring those stories here.

LK: I think you have done great work as an Ambassador, you are contributed to this.

JL: Thank you.

LK: But how much, when you visit these different places… Do they ask: ”hey, who are you?” or do they know, are they told? Have they seen videos of your band or something else? ”This pal is a famous rocker” or how does it work, so that you get a contact?

JL: Now when we are living this era of internet, yes, the songs are played on the radio stations there and people ask about our videos, and children try my hair. It is quite funny role to [be able to] bring something light to the matter. As said, those things are the darkest I have faced for a long time. And because I came back only a couple of days ago, there is a lot to think. Lots of material will come out later; so, now the mission is beginning. We have seen the situation, now we start to share information.

LK: Is it the revolution hero Daniel Ortega’s state?

JL: Yeah, the history of the whole country is very special [unusual]. I really fell in love with the country because of the nature’s beauty, because of the people, and then the history – it is extremely interesting.

LK: How about literacy? Can children read?

JL: Well, they have schools. As long as you go to school, of course, you learn, but not every child can necessarily study as long as he or she wanted to. You must start to work, if and when it is a question of big families.

LK: Did you sense or did you think what makes these people happy? In these pictures, where you were on the bridge, everybody was smiling and waving.

JL: Yeah, well, in my opinion, as a Goodwill Ambassador I think that my message is that there is also joy and beauty in these destinations where I visit. I mean, that you should not go there to cry and to be sad, you must see the future. There is always light in the end of the tunnel.

LK: How much light Unicef brings?

JL: Well, in my opinion these examples gave a good feeling, very good feeling. Unicef was able to established for example this women’s and children’s police unit. Then there is this prevention, adolescents tell other adolescents what is allowed and what is not, and they are beware of falling victims. Then there are special centres to the victims of sexual trafficking where they can continue studyin and learn a profession.

LK: Do you appreaciate a lot the role of an [Goodwill] Ambassador?

JL: Well, it is my priviledge. I feel that it makes me rich, but it is also a responsability. I take it really seriously, these things are not easy. This is my role.

LK: Thank you.

JL: Thank you.

LK: Soon we will se 9 o’clock news and the latest weather forecast.

En este Boletín Especial nos centramos en la visita del Embajador de Buena Voluntad de UNICEF Jyrki Linnankivi, que llegó a Nicaragua para promover la prevención de la trata y la explotación sexual comercial.

En este Boletín Especial Noticias de la Niñez y Adolescencia: Visita de Jyrki Linnankivi a Nicaragua:

 

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