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Human Rights Council – Report of the UPR Working Group on Norway
December 2, 2009

Consideration of Universal Periodic Review Reports
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

Delivered by Political Counselor Mark Cassayre
United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva

December 2, 2009

Thank you, Mr. President.

We thank the Foreign Minister of Norway and his delegation for their presentations and their participation in the UPR today. We appreciate the comprehensive approach that Norway took in the preparation of its national report.

The United States notes the Government of Norway’s actions to confront the problem of ethnic discrimination and racism, including the Action Plan to promote Equality and prevent Ethnic Discrimination 2009-2012. We also note that the Norwegian Ombudsman for Children reports that adolescents from ethnic minority backgrounds feel stigmatized by and lack trust in the police.

The United States recommends that the government work with the Norwegian Ombudsman for Children and relevant civil society organizations to create programs to educate law enforcement officials on how to proactively address this problem.

The United States also notes that the Government of Norway’s two action plans, one to promote equality and prevent ethnic discrimination, and the other to improve living standards for Roma people. We also note continuing allegations of nationality-based discrimination in Norway’s labor market, particularly against young people from immigrant backgrounds.

The United States recommends that the Action Plan to Promote Equality and Prevent Ethnic Discrimination (2009-2012) and the Action Plan to improve living standards for Roma people (June 2009) be amended to contain policies that specifically address labor market inequalities based on ethnic origin.

Thank you.