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Opposition Wants 500 Refugees

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Opposition Wants 500 Refugees

Syrian refugees on the border of Lebanon, 2014

Syrian refugees. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Twenty-two members of parliament from all parties in opposition have introduced a parliamentary resolution regarding increased support for accepting refugees in Iceland, Kjarninn reports. They want the government to start preparations immediately for the reception of more quota refugees than planned in cooperation with United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). (The government has agreed to accept 50 quota refugees—25 this year and 25 in 2016.)

The resolution suggests that at least 100 refugees be offered asylum in Iceland this year, 200 next year and 200 again in 2017. The MPs also want a plan in place to ensure that as of 2018, Iceland will receive refugees in accordance with the size of the population and the country’s economy.

Because of the prolonged war situation in Syria, efforts should be made to support the unification of Syrian families, for example by temporarily issuing residence permits to relatives of Syrians who reside here.

“Iceland must increase its efforts because of the huge number of refugees in the world, and offer shelter and protection to victims of war,” reads a statement accompanying the resolution, which was presented by MP Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir, chairwoman of the Welfare Committee.

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