Iceland to take in more refugees

Icelandic patrol ship brings 320 refugees to safety in Sicily.

Icelandic patrol ship brings 320 refugees to safety in Sicily. Photo: Icelandic Coast Guard

Iceland can expect to be asked to take in more refugees, but who and how many remains the decision of the Icelandic government, on a case-by-case basis.

This is according to Stefán Þór Björnsson, recently appointed Chair of Iceland’s Refugee Committee by the Minister for Social Affairs.

Björnsson’s personal view is that Iceland is able to take in more refugees and that the need is certainly there.

On the issue of taking in individuals attempting to reach Europe by boat across the Mediterranean, Björnsson replies that “[i]t is important to distinguish between those categorised by the United Nations as refugees and those who are seeking asylum of their own accord. I believe that some 150,000 individuals have recently applied for asylum in Europe.”

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