Norway and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

This year Norway marks that it’s 25 years since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was embedded in Norwegian law.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child from 20 November 1989 (the CRC) is the most important set of international rules we have for the protection of children's rights. The Convention has been embedded in Norwegian legislation in the Human Rights Act, cf. Item 2. If there is discord between the Convention and other legislation, the Convention shall have precedence, cf. Article 3 of the Human Rights Act. 

Particularly relevant provisions in the Convention are Articles 2, 3, 9, 12, 20 and 21. Pursuant to the Convention, Norway is obliged to protect all children residing in Norway in a non-discriminatory manner. The best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration in all decisions that involve children. Children must be allowed the opportunity to be heard in all cases that concern them. In exceptional cases, the Convention opens for children being moved to a foster home or institution or to be adopted against the will of the parents, if it is necessary and in the best interests of the child. 

Pursuant to Article 104 of the Norwegian Constitution, children have the right to respect for their human value. They have the right to be heard in matters relating to them, and their opinion should be given importance in accordance with their age and development. The child's best interests must be a fundamental consideration when actions are taken and decisions are made that concern children. Children have the right to protection of their personal integrity. The state authorities must also facilitate for the development of the child, including ensuring that the child receives the necessary security in terms of financial affairs, social matters and health, preferably in their own family.