COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
31 July - 25 August 2000
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9
OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial
1. The Committee
considered the fifteenth periodic report of Norway (CERD/C/363/Add.3)
at its 1426th and 1427th meetings (CERD/C/SR.1426 and 1427), on 17 and
18 August 2000, and at its 1434th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1434), on 23 August
2000, adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee
welcomes the detailed updating report presented by the Government of
Norway, which follows the Committee's guidelines and contains relevant
information about the implementation of the provisions of the Convention
in the State party. The Committee particularly welcomes the opportunity
to continue a constructive and open dialogue with the State party and
appreciates the detailed answers to questions raised and concerns expressed
during the consideration of the report.
B. Positive aspects
3. The Committee
notes that the State party consulted the Government's Advisory Committee
on Human Rights as well as a number of NGOs in the drafting of its report.
4. The Committee
welcomes the adoption of the Human Rights Act in anticipation that it
will contribute to the implementation of the Convention.
5. The Committee
welcomes the establishment of the Centre for Combating Ethnic Discrimination
and trusts that the State party will ensure that it receives sufficient
support to operate as an independent entity.
6. The Committee
welcomes the adoption of the Plan of Action for Human Rights as well
as the Plan of Action for Recruiting Persons with an Immigrant Background
to the State Sector for the period 1998-2001 to reduce structural barriers
to employment and to improve measures targeted at the attitudes and
practice of employers.
7. The Committee
also appreciates actions by the Ministries of Education, Health and
Social Affairs, the Council of Judges and the Directorate of Immigration
to develop training courses to increase the knowledge and skills of
public servants and judges in the prevention of racial discrimination.
8. The Committee
notes that changes in policies for the reception of asylum-seekers and
refugees and the institution of an Appeals Board should improve present
protection against racial discrimination.
9. The Committee
is satisfied that the State party is funding projects such as EXIT to
develop strategies to discourage young people from supporting racist
10. The Committee
particularly welcomes the State party's action in apologizing to the
Roma for injustices they have suffered in the past.
C. Concerns and recommendations
11. While it
welcomes the incorporation of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights into a single
(Norwegian) Human Rights Act, the Committee is concerned that the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
has not been similarly incorporated. The absence of an explicit prohibition
of racial discrimination in the Norwegian Constitution increases this
concern. The Committee recommends that the body charged with drafting
the Human Rights Act be further encouraged to introduce the provisions
of this Convention into the new statute.
12. The Committee
notes that there has been little progress in monitoring racial discrimination
through record-keeping of racist incidents, indictments, sentences and
compensation. The Committee maintains its request for information on
court decisions on racial discrimination and recommends that the State
party review its procedures for monitoring racist incidents in order
to increase their effectiveness.
13. The Committee
recommends that the effectiveness of the training courses referred to
in paragraph 428 above be assessed in due course.
14. With respect
to the implementation of article 4 of the Convention, the Committee
notes that racist organizations have not been prohibited. The Committee
reminds the State party that in its opinion, prohibition of the dissemination
of all ideas based upon racial superiority or hatred is compatible with
the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
15. The Committee
is concerned that persons seeking to rent or purchase apartments and
houses are not adequately protected against racial discrimination on
the part of vendors. It recommends that the State party give full effect
to its obligations under article 5 (e) (iii) of the Convention.
that a commission has been established to review the State party's legislation
against racial discrimination, the Committee recommends that consideration
be given to the introduction of provisions within other branches of
its legislation to supplement the provisions of the Criminal Code wherever
this might produce more effective protections.
17. The Committee
expresses concern over reports of racial discrimination in access to
places of service to the general public, notably restaurants and discotheques,
and over reports that the criminal law does not always provide effective
protection. The Committee recommends that licences to operate such establishments
include a prohibition of racial discrimination.
18. The State
party is invited in its next report to provide further information on
the following issues: (a) the functioning and first results of the Appeals
Board for Asylum and Immigration Cases; (b) the steps taken to facilitate
employment of minorities in the public sector; and (c) the results of
the two plans of action mentioned in paragraph 11 of the State party's
19. The Committee
recommends that the State party's reports be made readily available
to the public from the time they are submitted and that the Committee's
concluding observations on them be similarly publicized.
20. The Committee
recommends that the State party's sixteenth periodic report, due on
5 September 2001, be a comprehensive report and that it address the
points raised in the present observations.