From Iceland — Work Started On Parliament Bill Establishing Refugee Camps

Work Started On Parliament Bill Establishing Refugee Camps

Published August 24, 2023

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Minister of Judicial Affairs and Independence Party MP Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir has started work on a parliament bill establishing “residential resources” for asylum applicants.

The bill follows the enactment of the recent Foreigners Act, which led to 50 asylum applicants being deprived of social, medical and housing support once a 30-day period had elapsed from the closure of their cases with the Directorate of Immigration.

28 humanitarian aid organisations in Iceland came together on August 23 to challenge the legislation. According to them, the law‘s execution is not in accordance with international human rights obligations which Iceland is a party to.

The ministry, and by extension the government, has faced severe criticism in recent weeks. Guðrún emphasises that no person needs to be homeless – they only need to comply with authorities‘ orders to return to the countries they fled to seek asylum abroad.

The people in question are fleeing extreme violence and insecurity in their home countries.

The parliament bill in question will be motioned in Alþingi later this fall and is set to restrict asylum seekers‘ freedom of movement.

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