News
Child Protection Changes To Law On Foreigners Approved

Child Protection Changes To Law On Foreigners Approved

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published September 27, 2017

Late last night, the majority of Iceland’s parliament approved changes to the Law on Foreigners, which affords protections for asylum seeker children, albeit only those children whose asylum applications were submitted before the passage of this law.

The text of the law defines this as an “emergency measure”, and makes two significant changes:

First, it changes the text of Article 36 Section 2 of the original, which states in part that if more than 12 months have passed since an application for international protection has been submitted to authorities without a decision being made, then that application will be taken into authoritative consideration. The emergency measure changes this period to nine months if the matter concerns a child.

Second, it changes the text of Article 74 Section 2 of the original, which states that if no decision has been made on an application for international protection for humanitarian reasons within 18 months of first applying, then the applicant can be issued a residence permit. The emergency measure changes this period to 15 months, also if the matter concerns a child.

However, this emergency measure only applies to those who have applied for asylum before the law has been passed. These applicants have 14 days from the passage of this law to take their cases to the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board.

An overwhelming majority of MPs voted in favour of the measure, with 38 in favour, 17 against, and eight not present. The votes against the measure all came from the Independence Party, with Yes votes coming from every other party. The main objection from the Independence Party was that the measure could increase the likelihood of the trafficking of children in Iceland – even though, again, this law applies only to those children who already have applications for asylum pending, before the passage of this law.

Despite this crucial condition, RÚV reports that this emergency measure could nonetheless have an effect on some 80 children in Iceland. Amongst them are two families, one from Afghanistan and another from Nigeria, whose impending deportations sparked public outcry and a protest of hundreds.

In fact, Iceland has encoded in its laws the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Refugee Convention, all of which, directly or indirectly, already prohibit deportations of this nature.


News
Airbnb In Iceland: Growing Fast, Driving Up Costs, Mostly Not Registered Legally

Airbnb In Iceland: Growing Fast, Driving Up Costs, Mostly Not Registered Legally

by

Airbnb rentals have doubled in the past two years, pushed up property prices, and the majority of long-term listings are

News
Whalers In Iceland Forbidden From Being In Labour Union

Whalers In Iceland Forbidden From Being In Labour Union

by

Workers within the whaling company Hvalur hf. have been informed by the company that they may not be members of

News
Icelandic Police Reportedly Enjoying Themselves In Russia

Icelandic Police Reportedly Enjoying Themselves In Russia

by

Five Icelandic police officers are in Moscow for the World Cup, although not just to support their country’s team. RÚV

News
Icelandic Government To Meet Over US Border Policy

Icelandic Government To Meet Over US Border Policy

by

Iceland’s parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee will soon meet to discuss how to respond to US policy on the treatment of

News
Icelanders Protest US Border Policy & European Refugee Policy

Icelanders Protest US Border Policy & European Refugee Policy

by

Icelanders, upset at US policy of separating children from asylum seeker parents at the border with the country, are starting

News
What Do Icelanders Think Their Chances Are At The World Cup?

What Do Icelanders Think Their Chances Are At The World Cup?

by

A new poll from Market and Media Research asked Icelanders how far they believe the national men’s team will get

Show Me More!