The Committee considered the third periodic report of
Norway on articles 1 to 15 of the Covenant (E/1994/104/Add.3
and HRI/CORE/1/Add.6) at its 34th, 36th and 37th meetings
on 22 and 23 November 1995 and, at its 55th meeting on
6 December 1995, adopted the following concluding observations.
The Committee expresses its satisfaction with the very
comprehensive and detailed report of the State party,
which follows closely the Committee's guidelines regarding
the form and content of reports, as well as with its written
answers to the list of issues raised.
The Committee also wishes to express its appreciation
for the frank and constructive dialogue which it has had
with the delegation of Norway.
B. Factors and difficulties impeding the
of the Covenant
The Committee finds that there are no significant factors
and difficulties which prevent the effective implementation
of the Covenant in Norway.
C. Positive aspects
The Committee notes with appreciation the high level of
achievement of Norway in the fulfilment of its obligations
regarding the protection of the rights guaranteed in the
The Committee takes note of the statement of the delegation
to the effect that a bill will be presented by the Government
to the Storting which, as a follow-up to the recently
adopted article 110 (c) of the Constitution, will incorporate
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights into the Norwegian legal order, together with the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and
the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms.
The Committee commends Norway for its regular participation
in multilateral development cooperation programmes, as
well as for the setting up of a number of bilateral programmes,
thus contributing to the realization of economic, social
and cultural rights in other countries.
In relation to the emerging trend towards intolerance
and violence against members of minority groups and foreigners,
in particular asylum seekers and migrant workers, the
Committee welcomes the adoption by the Ministry of Local
Government and Labour of a plan of action which provides,
inter alia, for the development of indicators for
measuring racial discrimination and improving the collection
of statistical data concerning racial violence and harassment.
The Committee commends the devolution of responsibility
to the Sami Assembly with regard to matters relating to
the preservation and development
the culture of the members of the Sami community, and
notes with appreciation that the Sami language may be
used in contacts with public bodies and before the courts.
The Committee welcomes the adoption of the policy and
the specific steps taken by the Government with a view
to integrating persons with disabilities into the labour
market by offering them active vocational rehabilitation
measures rather than passive social security benefits.
The Committee welcomes the Government's policies to combat
unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment and
unemployment among young people, through job-creation
and qualification schemes, and through close cooperation
with employers' and employees' organizations.
The Committee expresses its satisfaction with the Norwegian
social security system, which ensures that all persons
resident or working in Norway are insured under the National
Insurance Scheme and that all residents are covered by
the Family Allowance Act.
The Committee commends the efforts undertaken by the authorities
to tackle the problem of domestic violence and child abuse
and, in this respect, welcomes the setting up of crisis
centres, crisis-telephone lines and support centres to
The Committee notes that, as a measure to ensure the access
of everyone to health services, the Government has made
it an obligation for newly graduated doctors and dentists
to serve one year in public health institutions in certain
isolated parts of Norway.
With regard to the protection of the health of minors,
the Committee takes notes with appreciation of the policies
aimed at fighting alcoholism and smoking, particularly
discouraging minors to have access to alcoholic beverages
and tobacco products.
The Committee welcomes the National Geriatric Programme
aimed at strengthening geriatric services throughout the
country, through the recruitment of specialized personnel
and improvement of the cooperation between hospitals and
community geriatric-care services.
The Committee welcomes the policy of integration of children
with disabilities within the regular educational system,
as well as the results thus attained.
The Committee welcomes the introduction of courses relating
to human rights, in particular on the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, in the curricula of civics and social
With regard to the promotion of human rights, the Committee
commends the activities of the Norwegian Institute for
Human Rights, such as the organization of seminars, teaching
in universities, the conducting of research, the publishing
of books and periodicals, and the provision of advice
and information material to the public at large, both
nationally and internationally.
D. Principal subjects of concern
The Committee regrets the lack of statistical information
gathered by the Norwegian Government with regard, in particular,
to domestic violence and child abuse, a situation which
may hinder the efforts of the Government to take the exact
measure of these problems and thus combat them efficiently.
The Committee is concerned that, although it is effective
in the law, equality between men and women, especially
with regard to remuneration, is not yet fully achieved
in practice, and that women still experience more obstacles
than men in advancing to higher professional positions.
The Committee expresses its concern about the provisions
in the Labour Disputes Act enabling the Government, with
the agreement of the Storting, to end a strike by the
enactment of a bill imposing compulsory arbitration, even
though the Government has only very seldom made use of
E. Suggestions and recommendations
The Committee encourages the Government to collect statistical
data on domestic violence and child abuse to identify
the magnitude of these negative phenomena, and thus to
ensure that the rights of the affected persons are fully
protected in accordance with the provisions of the Covenant.
The Committee recommends that the Government intensify
its efforts to ensure that equality between men and women,
in particular with regard to labour matters, is effective
The Committee recommends that, in the process of revising
the Labour Disputes Act, the need to protect the right
to strike be fully taken into account.