Mr Brende emphasised that the review gave Norway a good opportunity to reflect both on what has been achieved and on areas where challenges remain. Norway’s strong democratic traditions, its stable political system and the closeness of decision-makers to the population, combined with a strong, independent media and an active civil society, have meant that Norway has come a long way in terms of protecting human rights. However, challenges still remain and an intensified effort is needed in a number of areas. These include female genital mutilation, forced marriage, violence against women and the use of solitary confinement.
Major changes in the composition of the population over a short period of time have also brought challenges. The Government is working to strengthen protection against discrimination of ethnic and religious minorities, and to promote integration.
Safeguarding children’s rights is a key component of the Government’s human rights work.The Foreign Minister also emphasized that the child’s best interest is always Norway’s first priority. He also ensured that under aged asylum seekers that come to Norway alone will be taken care of through legal systems and good living conditions.
Mr Brende also underlined the fact that protection of human rights is a key element of the Government’s international engagement. Later this year the Government will present a white paper on Norway’s efforts to promote human rights globally.
About the Universal Periodical Review
When the UN Human Rights Council was established in 2006, it was decided that the human rights record of all UN member states should be reviewed. The scheme, which is called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), is one of the Council’s most important initiatives. The first hearing of Norway took place in 2009.
For more information about Norway and the UPR click here
Read Foreign Minister Brende’s opening statement here