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55 Refugees in Iceland Next Year

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55 Refugees in Iceland Next Year

Politics

Syrian refugees on the border of Lebanon, 2014

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The Icelandic government has agreed to offer up to 55 refugees next year a home in Iceland. Within a few years, the number is expected to rise to a hundred refugees per year. RÚV reports.

This is a slight increase from this year, while the number is akin to last year's. Although the people will be coming here from Jordanian and Kenyan refugee camps, their nationalities have not been confirmed yet.

According to Þorsteinn Víglundsson, Icelandic Minister of Social Affairs and Equality, this is in accordance with the government's manifesto. "The [refugees] will be 50 during next year and then they will gradually increase by the end of term so they will be about a hundred per year."

This time, Þorsteinn will be broadening the horizon for refugees of other nationalities, since the focus has been too much on Syrian refugees, leaving others behind. "The International Refugee Organization has pointed out that, due to such a great emphasis on receiving Syrian refugees for the past years, various other groups have been subsequently left behind and we're slightly broadening our view, though most refugees will still be coming from Syria."

Among the new refugees, up to ten are homosexual, who currently dwell in Kenyan refugee camps. "This is a group that lives under extremely harsh circumstances and tends to be persecuted in their home country, as well as groups that have fled persecution in their own countries but are under a lot of harassment in the refugee camps or in the countries which they've fled to".

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