Minister Promises Law Against Racial Discrimination - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Minister Promises Law Against Racial Discrimination

Published August 1, 2014

Iceland Only European Country Still Without

Haukur Már Helgason
Main photo by
Framsókn.is publicity material

Iceland Only European Country Still Without

‘The notion of equal rights’ to be ‘extended, making it also apply to race and people’s place of origin’.

Welfare Minister Eygló Harðardóttir has announced that, come next fall, the Ministry intends to propose legislation against racial discrimination. This was reported by RÚV. According to RÚV, ‘the notion of equal rights’ will thereby be ‘extended, making it also apply to race and people’s place of origin’. The Minister is quoted as saying that ‘what we have in mind, first and foremost, is for people to have a way through the state apparatus, to verify whether they have been discriminated against or not.’ The legislation will apply, it is reported, ‘both within and outside the job market’.

‘Of course discrimination and prejudice exist here in Iceland as in other countries,’ the Minister also said, adding: ‘That is why it is so important to acknowledge it, that people have the option to get it verified and that we acknowledge it. Then we can deal with the problem.’

Eygló is Minister and member of Alþingi on behalf of the Progressive Party, lately infamous for islamophobic statements made by its city-council candidates, during the run-up to municipal elections earlier this year. Eygló has, among other party members, been criticized for not voicing a clear opposition to those attitudes.

RÚV adds that Iceland is the only country in Europe currently without legislation against racial discrimination.

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