Iceland Should Do More To Fight Racism, Says Report

Published February 21, 2012

A new report from the Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission (ECRI) says that Iceland should be doing more to combat discrimination, in part by granting permission for Muslims to build a mosque and by filling in gaps in current immigration legislation.
The report also believes that the law should include a “provision that expressly considers the racist motivation of an offence as a specific aggravating circumstance.”
Some key elements from the report include:

Iceland has not established a specialised body to combat racism and discrimination based on “race”, colour, language, religion, nationality or national or ethnic origin. The Multicultural and Information Centre, which is now responsible for providing assistance and services to immigrants, is located in the extreme north-west of the country; this means that most immigrants no longer have easy access to specialised support services.
Changes to the Icelandic Nationality Act mean that the repeated commission of petty offences for which a fine is prescribed can definitively exclude a person from obtaining Icelandic citizenship. While the conditions for citizenship now also include passing Icelandic language tests, funding for language classes for foreigners has been cut.
The media frequently disclose the citizenship or ethnic origin of persons suspected of criminal activity although it bears no relevance to the case. One television channel and some Internet sites engage in hate speech against Muslims. The Muslim communities in Iceland still do not have permission to build mosques in which to worship, despite one application pending for more than 12 years.
Pupils of immigrant background have a significantly higher drop out rate from secondary school than Icelandic pupils.
Asylum seekers still have no possibility to appeal to an independent and impartial judicial mechanism empowered to consider the merits of the case. Not all children in the asylum procedure have access to compulsory school education.
There is still no mechanism for the investigation of allegations of police misconduct which is independent of the police and prosecution authorities.

ECRI publishes a report each year on the progress different European countries are making when it comes to fighting racism. Iceland’s full report can be read here.



News
Police Still Getting Guns

Police Still Getting Guns

by

The highly disputed machine guns, recently acquired from Norway, only to be returned, will be replaced with weaponry from elsewhere, says the National Comissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP). This was reported today, Wednesday. In a response to inquiries made by RÚV, NCIP said that estimates made within the police, have shown that their need for weapons has increased in recent years. New weapons will be acquired, this time with the direct involvement of the Ministry of the Interior. The MP5 machine guns from Norway are to be returned because of disputes between the two countries as two whether they

News
Doctors’ Strike Will Hit Harder In 2015

Doctors’ Strike Will Hit Harder In 2015

by

Representatives of the Medical Doctors’s Union (LÍ) met with the State’s negotiation committee on Tuesday, at the Public Mediator’s office. At the meeting, LÍ’s spokespeople announced their plans for strikes in 2015, which members of the Union will vote on next week. This was reported by mbl.is. Speaking with mbl.is, Þorbjörn Jónsson, LÍ’s Chair, said that any strike actions in the new year would hit harder than what has been witnessed during the last month, and that doctors would strike for four days a week. There would be no breaks from the strike action. Þorbjörn said that according to current

News
QuizUp To Become Social Media Platform

QuizUp To Become Social Media Platform

by

Startup software developer Plain Vanilla, which last year found major success with the smartphone game QuizUp, has announced its plans to turn the game into a social media platform. The original QuizUp has been described as “a mobile trivia app similar to the game Trivial Pursuit”. “We no longer look at QuizUp as a game for smartphones but as a social network that can affect people’s lives all over the world, and create more value for the company,” said Plain Vanilla’s founder and CEO, Þorsteinn B. Friðriksson, interviewed by Vísir. Þorsteinn said that the idea came from emails that Plain

News
European Writers’ Council Concerned Over Book Tax

European Writers’ Council Concerned Over Book Tax

by

The European Writers’ Council (EWC) has expressed “deep concern” about the Icelandic government’s plans to raise the VAT on books from 7% to 12%. In a statement released at the council’s annual general assembly, EWC says it sees the raise as “devastating to the small Icelandic book market,” and predicts it “will have painful and irreversible effects on authors, publishers, booksellers, and on the reading culture of a nation known throughout the world for its rich and diverse literary heritage.” The statement further points out the example of “your neighbouring countries like Norway, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Faroe

News
Julien Blanc Workshop Probably Canceled

Julien Blanc Workshop Probably Canceled

by

A three-day “Dating” Bootcamp by controversial Pick Up Artist, Julien Blanc, due to be held in Iceland next year, has most likely been cancelled, reports Vísir. The workshop – as well as a course planned in Sweden – has been removed from the overall schedule on organiser Real Social Dynamics’ website. As reported, news of Blanc’s course in Iceland prompted mass protest from the public with over 11.000 people signing an online petition to stop Blanc from entering the country. Icelandic comedian and cartoonist, Hugleikur Dagsson, proposed an alternative approach, saying the country should welcome him rather than martyr him, then

News
Northern Lights Movie Released

Northern Lights Movie Released

by

The film, Aurora Iceland, featuring 3 years worth of time-lapsed aurora borealis footage has been released on VOD. As reported, three independent filmmakers spent over 130 nights over 3 years in 50 different locations across Iceland taking time-lapse sequences of northern lights with 50,000 individual High Resolution RAW images. Each second of the film is equal to approximately 3-5 minutes of real time. “In our opinion it is not enough to just catch beautiful aurora displays of all shapes and colours,” said film maker Snorri Þór Tryggvason who shot the film alongside his day job. “Each frame had to look

Show Me More!