From Iceland — Refugee Children Unable To Attend School

Refugee Children Unable To Attend School

Published August 16, 2022

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Ukrainian refugee children are unable to attend school in Iceland because their parents do not have the necessary identification, reports RÚV.

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About 1,500 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Iceland since the war began and 4,000 are expected to come to Iceland by the end of the year. However, due to housing shortages, many of these refugees do not qualify for legal residence which prevents their children from attending school.

“We need to assume that forecasts by various parties assume up to 4,000 people coming to Iceland. It’s already getting tough and we’re only at 1,500 people,” says Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson, the head of a refugee refuge. “The rules of municipalities are such that if a child does not have a permanent residence here in Iceland, they will simply receive a refusal from their school district.”

Natalia is the 12-year-old daughter of Ukrainian refugees who is currently impacted by the permanent residency issue.

“We are currently in temporary accommodation,” says Natalia’s mother. “We came here with Ukrainian passports, but we don’t have an electronic ID card, so we can’t enroll her in school. She wants to go to school and she’s really worried about it.”

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