From Iceland — Immigrants In Hafnarfjörður Need Better Service

Immigrants In Hafnarfjörður Need Better Service

Published October 8, 2013

A new report points out a number of shortcomings regarding the integration of foreigners in Hafnarfjörður.
RÚV reports that immigrants comprise 7% of Hafnarfjörður residents, and their children make up 13% of playschool kids and about 10% of grade school children.
Despite this significant presence, many services fall short of helping foreigners, the report says. Parents who speak little to no Icelandic will have a hard time getting basic information about their schools, as almost all online information on the subject is in Icelandic only. Language difficulties have also led to foreign parents not knowing or understanding child protection laws.
School officials who spoke to the report authors expressed concerns about these immigrant children, as they often struggle with academic and social difficulties. Part of this might be due to the financial difficulties many foreign parents experience when it comes to paying for sports and afterschool activities.
The report recommends, among other things, that information necessary for parents be translated into more languages, and that more effort be put into getting information on the rights of children and duties of parents to foreigners living in the town.

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