Human rights

The promotion of human rights and democratic principles is at the heart of Norwegian foreign policy. This policy is implemented both in international forums such as the UN, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, and at country level.

Studying human rights.

Guidelines on Norway’s human rights policy

The promotion of human rights is a key component of Norway’s foreign and development policy. As part of its efforts to ensure an integrated human rights policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published several sets of guidelines on different aspects of human rights.

Illustration - against death penalty

International efforts to combat the death penalty

The right to life is enshrined in both global and regional human rights conventions. The right to life and respect for human dignity and inviolability are the underlying principles on which all other human rights and the fundamental principles of the rule of law are based. The use of the death penalty is a violation of these principles, and is in itself inhumane.


Extended mandate for human rights defenders

The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a draft resolution introduced by Norway, and extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders for a period of three years.

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Norway joined in supporting human rights defenders

2017-11-20: UN Member States have unanimously endorsed the free and independent role of human rights defenders. ‘The international community has sent a strong signal. Human rights defenders have a key role to play in strengthening respect for human rights all around the world,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

Seminar on human rights defenders under threat

2017-10-30: The seminar "Environmental human rights defenders under threat from business operations" took place in Oslo, and was organised by Amnesty International Norway and Rainforest Foundation Norway. In his opening speech State Secretary Audun Halvorsen thanked for this important and timely event.

Increase in support for religious minorities

2017-10-12: 'Around 70 % of the world's population live in countries where there are restrictions on freedom of religion and belief. We will therefore continue to step up our support for efforts to promote freedom of religion and belief, to the benefit of religious minorities'.

All cases about Human rights


White paper

Meld. St. 10 (2014–2015)

Opportunities for All: Human Rights in Norway’s Foreign Policy and Development Cooperation

National Action Plan

Business and Human Rights

The present national action plan is intended to enable the business sector to follow the UN Guiding Principles.


Section for Human Rights, Democracy and Gender Equality

Phone: +47 23951488
Address: Postboks 8114 Dep., 0032 Oslo
Visitor address: 7. juniplassen 1 / Victoria Terrasse 7,