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Egalité et non discrimination

Equality and non-discrimination is secured through the Human Rights Act (1999), the Gender Equality Act (1978/2013), the Ethnicity Anti-Discrimination Act (2013), the Sexual Orientation Anti-Discrimination Act (2013) and the Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act (2013). Additionally, the Working Environment Act (2005), and four separate acts on housing, prohibit discrimination in the workplace and in housing arrangements.

Through the Human Rights Act, the European Convention on Human Rights (1950), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) have been made part of the Norwegian legal framework. The provisions of the Human Rights Act override general statutory law, but are subordinate to the Constitution.

Besides the Human Rights Act, the principal legislation for the prevention of religious discrimination is the Ethnicity Anti-Discrimination Act (2013), which incorporates the International Covenant on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (1965) as part of Norwegian law. According to the act (§6), any unnecessary differential treatment based on actual, assumed, former or future ethnicity, religion or belief is prohibited, with a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment (§26). Chapter 4 of the act specifies anti-discrimination rules on labour relations, and chapter 5 specifies the competency of the Anti-Discrimination Ombudsman to monitor and review the act.

While previous specific exemptions from the prohibition against discrimination for religious communities in their hiring practices have been removed, religious communities can still distinguish between applicants according to religion, as long as they can prove that such distinctions are necessary to the religious purpose and function of the community. No other differential treatment based on religion is recognized in the legal framework.

D 16 septembre 2016    AHelge Årsheim

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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