19th Session of the Universal Periodic Review
U.S. Statement delivered by Lisa Brodey
April 28, 2014
The United States warmly welcomes Minister Brende and the Norwegian delegation to the UPR Working Group.
We commend Norway’s exemplary human rights record and longstanding commitment to promoting human rights domestically and internationally. In particular, we applaud Norway’s many initiatives to support human rights activists, its leadership on gender equality, and its support for maternal health and programs to address violence and discrimination against members of vulnerable and marginalized groups.
While Norway has made notable efforts to address the problem of domestic violence and rape, we are concerned that current preventive measures have not reduced the incidence of such crimes. We are also concerned by the high level of acquittals, lenient sentences, and the legal definition of rape, which maintains the requirement of the use or threat of force.
We are also concerned by the treatment of asylum seekers and stateless persons— particularly minors—and the involuntary return of asylum seekers to geographic locations with which they are unfamiliar in their home country.
We recommend that Norway:
- Strengthen the legal definition of rape by grounding it in lack of consent, rather than the use or threat of force, to ensure that the law provides better protection for survivors;
- Reassess involuntary return practices and asylum processes, particularly for minors, in order to guarantee refugees the full protection accorded by the law.