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
“Home Of Leifur Eiríksson” Mourns Beginning Of Trump Presidency

“Home Of Leifur Eiríksson” Mourns Beginning Of Trump Presidency

by

Today, Donald J. Trump officially becomes the 45th President of the United States of America. The entire world is aware

News
Icelanders Love Sugar, Not So Keen On Fruits And Vegetables

Icelanders Love Sugar, Not So Keen On Fruits And Vegetables

by

Icelanders eat more sugary foods and fewer fruits and vegetables than other Nordic peoples. At the same time, they also

News
Asylum Applications Triple Between The Years

Asylum Applications Triple Between The Years

by

Over 1,100 applications for asylum were submitted in 2016; about three times more than the year previous. Most of these

News
Faroese Conservatives Want To Host Trump-Putin Summit

Faroese Conservatives Want To Host Trump-Putin Summit

by

A conservative opposition party in the Faroese parliament believes their country would be the ideal hosts for a possible summit

News
First Poll Of New Year: Left-Greens Surge, Ruling Coalition Dips

First Poll Of New Year: Left-Greens Surge, Ruling Coalition Dips

by

The first Market and Media Research (MMR) poll of 2017 on levels of party support shows the ruling coalition taking

News
Arrests Made In Connection With Missing Woman

Arrests Made In Connection With Missing Woman

by

Three crew members of the Greenlandic ship Polar Nanoq were arrested by Icelandic police yesterday in connection with the disappearance

Show Me More!