MP Proposes "Immigrants' Ombudsman"

MP Proposes “Immigrants’ Ombudsman”

Published August 14, 2014

Photos by
Jói Kjartans

An MP says immigrants are “helpless against our system”, and believes they need an ombudsman.

Elín Hirst, an MP for the Independence Party, posted an update on her Facebook regarding a missing immigrant who was newly found. The immigrant in question has been struggling with mental health issues, and is now in a doctor’s care. Elín wrote that her friends of foreign origin sought out her help, and were reportedly “very upset and absolutely lost” in their search for how to best help the newly-found man.

“I ask myself whether it might be necessary to have an immigrant ombudsman to assist them and ensure their rights, just like an Icelander in serious times of need,” she wrote. “When an immigrant is going through a time of need, they are completely helpess against our system, e.g. against the police, the health care system, or the schools.”

While there is no official “immigrants’ ombudsman”, there are services available for immigrants seeking help in dealing with various Icelandic institutions. The City of Reykjavík, for example, offers counselling and assistance in multiple languages. There is also the Intercultural Center, which offers translation and interpreter services to immigrants.

If any of our readers would like to suggest other services for immigrants, feel free to leave a comment, and this article may be updated accordingly.

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