Shedding light on refugees in a vulnerable position | University of Iceland Skip to main content

Shedding light on refugees in a vulnerable position

Erna Kristín Blöndal, doctoral student at the Faculty of Law

"The judgements of the European Court of Human Rights and reports from international institutions confirm that many of those who apply for asylum in Europe are in truly difficult circumstances. Those in particularly vulnerable positions are often those left most behind. I consider it a matter of urgency to shed light on their circumstances and explore the impact that laws and their implementation have on these individuals," says Erna Kristín Blöndal, a doctoral student at the Faculty of Law, on her research.

At the foreground of the research is the legal status of individuals considered to be in a particularly vulnerable position who come to Europe, including Iceland, to apply for international protection. Erna investigates whether their legal status complies with international and European human rights laws, with particular emphasis on the position of women and children in this context.

Erna Kristín Blöndal

The initial results of the research into the reception of those considered to be in a particularly vulnerable position in Iceland are now available.

Erna Kristín Blöndal, doctoral student at the Faculty of Law

Erna is well familiar with the lot of refugees and those asylum seekers in particularly vulnerable positions, since she has worked with these issues as a lawyer for the Ministry of the Interior. "This work sparked my interest in conducting further research on the matter," Erna explains.

The initial results of the research into the reception of those considered to be in a particularly vulnerable position in Iceland are now available. "They indicate that current laws and their implementation are not entirely adequate, e.g. because here in Iceland there is a lack of a formal process to determine whether asylum seekers fall under this category," says Erna.

She hopes that her research will reveal whether and to what extent changes need to be made to the existing laws and their implementation here in Iceland and in Europe and how we can ensure the maximum protection for those applicants considered to be in a particularly vulnerable position.

Supervisor: Páll Sigurðsson, professor at the Faculty of Law.