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Discrimination based on ethnicity, religion or belief

The Norwegian Government wants to strengthen the equality in the Norwegian society and create a better shield against discrimination. A society without discrimination is a prerequisite to equality and the same rights for everyone. It requires a strong and clear legislation which prevents discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, religion and belief.

The integration of efforts to promote equality and prevent discrimination is a goal in all policy areas and at all administrative levels. The Ministry of Culture and Equality plays a coordinating role in this work. However, all the ministries have an independent responsibility to promote equality in their areas of responsibility.

The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs is responsible for following up directorate tasks relating to the prevention of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion and belief.

UN Racial Discrimination Convention

The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, skin colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.

The convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 21 December 1965 and came into force in January 1969. Norway ratified the convention without reservation on 6 August 1970. The convention has been incorporated into Norwegian law through the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act. National implementation of the UN Racial Discrimination Convention is monitored by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is made up of independent experts.

The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act

The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act came into force on 1 January 2018. It prohibits direct and indirect discrimination based on factors such as ethnicity (including national origin, descent, skin colour and language), religion and belief. The purpose of the act is to promote equality, ensure equal opportunities and rights, and prevent discrimination. The act applies in all areas of society, but is not enforced in the context of family life and other personal relationships.

The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act contains rules on the duty of employers, public authorities and organisations in working life to promote equality actively and work against discrimination.

The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud

The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud shall work to promote equality and prevent discrimination in all areas of society. Anyone can contact the Ombud for guidance on equality and discrimination legislation. The Ombud can also bring cases before the Discrimination Board.

The Ombud supervises that public authorities follow the UN conventions on fundamental human rights.

The Anti-Discrimination Tribunal enforces complaints on violations of the discrimination regulations. The tribunal has the authority to make decisions on orders. The Tribunal may impose a cessation, remedy or other measures to stop ongoing discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, or to prevent it from happening again.

If the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal determines that laws or regulations have been violated, the Tribunal may award redress and compensation. 

The Norwegian Government's Action Plan against Racism and Discrimination on the Grounds of Ethnicity and Religion 2020-2023 (Extracted Version)