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Other provisions

Equality and 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 (...)

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 September 2016    AHelge Årsheim

Children and Parents

Following the adoption of the Human Rights Act (1999), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1989) was made part of the legal framework, overriding general statutory law, but (...)

Following the adoption of the Human Rights Act (1999), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1989) was made part of the legal framework, overriding general statutory law, but subordinate to the Constitution. Additionally, the rights of children are protected in the Children Act (1981) and the Child Welfare Act (1992). In 2014, the Act on Ritual Circumcision of Boys was adopted, in order to secure the accessibility and safety of circumcision procedures. Since 1981, Norway has had a Children Ombudsman in charge of monitoring all aspects concerning the role of children in Norwegian society. The Children Act has no specific provisions on children and religion. The Child Welfare Act §4-15 stipulates that the placement of children in alternative care should seek continuity with the child’s upbringing, as well as ethnic, religious and linguistic background, in line with article 20(3) of the CRC.

D 16 September 2016    AHelge Årsheim

Indigenous Peoples

The legal rights and duties of the indigenous Sami population is principally regulated in the Sami Act (1987). Additionally, the Finnmark Act (2005) regulates the distribution of land and (...)

The legal rights and duties of the indigenous Sami population is principally regulated in the Sami Act (1987). Additionally, the Finnmark Act (2005) regulates the distribution of land and resources in the northernmost county of Norway, and the Reindeer Herding Act (2007) provides a legal framework for the maintenance of sustainable reindeer husbandry. Both acts provide that the distribution of land and resources should be based on the maintenance of Sami culture, society and history. Norway has also ratified ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (1989).
The Sami Act § 1-2 provides for a separate parliament for the Sami people, which is closely regulated in chapter 2 of the act. The parliament has a largely advisory role, and can, under § 2-1, address all issues it considers to be of particular concern to the Sami people. Chapter 3 of the act secures the rights of the Sami population to be addressed in the Sami language in a variety of administrative functions, from education and health, to church and social security.

D 16 September 2016    AHelge Årsheim

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