Norway

UPR33, May 6, 2019
Recommendations by Canada

Background

According to UPR Info, a non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) that tracks the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, Norway received 320 recommendations, of which 241 were accepted (an acceptance rate of 75%) in the first two cycles of the UPR. Canada’s previous recommendations to Norway were related to establishing a fully independent human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles, including the prevention and elimination of all forms of discrimination.

Norway has ranked first on the UN Development Program’s Human Development Index for 14 of the last 16 years. There are a variety of domestic and international human rights NGOs which operate without being restricted by the Government of Norway to monitor human rights. The newly established National Human Rights Institution reports directly to the Parliament of Norway and makes recommendations to help ensure that Norway’s international human rights obligations are fulfilled.  Norwegian efforts to address the problem of domestic violence and rape are notable. 

The Sami are recognized as an Indigenous people in Norway, and there is legislation in place which aims to secure their rights as such. However, as Indigenous organizations and others have pointed out, there are still challenges and conflicts in terms of protecting traditional Sami fisheries and reindeer herding, including a call for improved implementation of the principle of free, prior and informed consent. 

Canada commends Norway for its international efforts on promoting human rights, its focus on Women, Peace, and Security and for combating sexual violence in conflict.  Norway has included a chapter on human rights in its constitution and is very well advanced in integrating Norway’s international human rights obligations in domestic law.  Canada previously highlighted the prevention and elimination of discrimination, with a particular focus on discrimination of ethnic minorities, but despite its commitment and ongoing efforts in this respect, Norway struggles to completely implement and eliminate discrimination, hate speech and hate crime.

The Norwegian National Human Rights Institution (NIM) was formally established in July 2015 by the Norwegian National Human Rights Institution Act, and fulfills the UN's criteria for national human rights institutions.

Recommendations

Thank you, Mr. President. 

Canada welcomes Norway’s establishment of a fully independent human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles, as per Canada’s previous UPR recommendation. This development forms an important step in the integration of Norway’s international human rights obligations into Norwegian law.

Canada recommends that Norway:

  1. Amend the legal definition of rape to remove the requirement for the use or threat of force, and implement a definition based on the communication of consent.
  2. Adopt legislation that increases the protection of traditional Sami livelihoods including coastal Sami fisheries and traditional Sami reindeer herding, and further reinforces the principle of free, prior, and informed consent.
  3. Intensify its efforts to prevent and eliminate all forms of discrimination, hate speech, and hate crimes based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and gender expressions.
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