From Iceland — Red Cross Criticises Ministry Foreigners Bill

Red Cross Criticises Ministry Foreigners Bill

Published April 4, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Julia Staple


Red Cross Criticises Ministry Foreigners Bill

A new bill proposing an “appeals committee” for immigrants and asylum seekers has been criticised by the Red Cross for working against its own purpose.

The original purpose of the committee, DV reports, was to have a neutral body which would review appeals from immigrants and asylum seekers, regarding residence permits, deportations and other decisions made by the Directorate of Immigration (UTL).

However, the language of the bill stipulates that the Minister of the Interior would personally appoint the members of this committee, without the involvement of any other parties. In fact, the bill only makes stipulations regarding the chairperson of the committee – a position that would be advertised, with completing a law degree the requirement for all applicants. It should also be noted that UTL is under the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior.

The Red Cross has raised an objection to this bill, which is now in parliamentary committee, saying that nothing must cast doubts on the neutrality and impartiality of the proposed “appeals committee”. In keeping with this, they recommend that the parliamentary committee review the language of the bill – specifically, that the hiring of appeals committee members be done in a more neutral fashion.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!