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Norway’s Arctic Archipelago Svalbard Can Be an Asylum Center

In late May, Progress Party (FrP) group leader in Vest-Agder, Christian Eikeland had proposed to build a refugee camp on Svalbard to receive refugees from Syria. Even though the proposal was considered as marginal that time, Green Party (Miljøpartiet De Grønne) politician Espen Klungseth Rotevatn comes up with a similar suggestion now.

According to NTB’s report, the Green Party local organization in Svalbard looks for opportunities to build a reception center in the Norwegian archipelago next to North Pole.

– At a meeting in August, we expressed that we want to accept refugees in Svalbard. Both settlement and receipt may be relevant, says local party leader Espen Klungseth Rotevatn.

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But among other challenges, there is a small legal issue about the movement of the refugees, the Svalbard is outside Schengen area, so the party authorities will check whether it is formally and practically possible to host refugees.

In the 1980s FRP chairman Carl I. Hagen had advocated sending drug addicts and criminals in Norway to prison camps on an isolated island, which legally is part of Svalbard. 

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