Iceland will receive 14 refugees over the coming months as part of its refugee resettlement program, as stated by head of the Refugee Council, Snædís Karlsdóttir, yesterday.Syrian refugees arriving in Kurdistan. Photo: UNHCR.
According to Snædís, Iceland is looking at resettling single mothers and LGBT individuals, explaining that Iceland is particularly well equipped to assist women in need and that the legislation on LGBT individuals is better here than in many other countries.
The refugees are expected to arrive in Iceland in two groups, one before the New Year and one after. Snædís says the Refugee Council is following the situation in Syria and may receive refugees from there but that their country of origin will not influence the decision.
“We work in collaboration with international organizations which have extensive experience in these areas and seek their advice as to where the most trouble is,” Snædís told ruv.is.
Iceland received nine refugees last year, three women from Afghanistan and their children.
Iceland’s Directorate of Immigration said yesterday that applications of Syrian asylum seekers in Iceland are being prioritized over those of other countries. However, under the government’s current policy, Iceland will not grant protection to those who have not yet arrived in the country.