Integration Of Refugees Working Better In Reykjavík - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Integration Of Refugees Working Better In Reykjavík

Published February 24, 2014

Resources, cultural life and other factors are making the integration of asylum seekers easier in Reykjavík than in other parts of the country.

The capital has taken in some 150 asylum seekers from all over the world, Vísir reports, with most of them living in apartments located midtown. The policy is a part of a deal Reykjavík worked out with Reykjanesbæ to take on more refugees, as space and resources were running short.

Anna Kristinsdóttir, the Chairperson of Human Rights for the city of Reykjavík, told reporters that the project has been going well.

“Many of these [asylum seekers] have been in Iceland for a long time, and these changes have been almost effortless,” she said.

Anna points out that asylum seekers in Reykjavík have access to things such as pools, mass transportation and more. In addition, the experience of living in the city is vastly different from living in more rural areas.

“We have heard from them that it’s different being here in the crowds than in some sparse rural space,” she said, “You blend into the crowd here. This is maybe the biggest difference and makes social integration easier, which is exactly what the mayor offered at the start of the project.”

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