Annual Report: Norway 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Norway 2013

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KINGDOM OF NORWAY

Head of state King Harald V

Head of government Jens Stoltenberg

Concerns about reception conditions for children seeking asylum continued. Protection and access to justice for survivors of rape and sexual violence remained inadequate.

Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants

On 8 June, the government published proposals to address the needs of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and children of asylum-seekers. NGOs criticized the proposals for over-emphasizing returns and for not focusing sufficiently on the rights of the child.

By December, 85 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children reportedly disappeared from asylum reception centres. NGOs expressed fears that some of the children were victims of trafficking and called for responsibility for unaccompanied children to be transferred from the immigration authorities to Child Welfare.

International justice

On 25 September, the prosecution of a 47-year-old Rwandan national for participation in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda began before the Oslo District Court.

On 10 October, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security decided that a Rwandan national could be extradited from Norway to Rwanda to face charges of participation in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Violence against women and girls

Women remained inadequately protected against violence in law and practice. Statistics on reported rape and sexual assault were not regularly updated.

In March, the CEDAW Committee expressed concern at the prevalence of violence against women in Norway, the high level of acquittals and lenient sentences imposed on perpetrators. The Committee also expressed concern about the definition of rape contained in the General Penal Code which maintains the requirement of the use of threat or force. In November, the Committee against Torture reiterated many of the same concerns.

Discrimination

In February, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance stated that Norwegian authorities had failed to implement its 2009 recommendations to address racial profiling in stop and search operations carried out by police, customs and immigration officials.

Legal, constitutional or institutional developments

In October, the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights was downgraded from its status as a national human rights institution for failing to comply fully with the UN Paris Principles. Parliament considered proposals for a stronger Human Rights Commission in November.