Protecting children’s rights: a key goal for Norway

Norway’s Minister of Children and Equality, Ms. Linda Hofstad Helleland, led the Norwegian delegation during Norway’s hearing in the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 23-24 May 2018.

Eight years since Norway’s last hearing in the Committee of the Rights of the Child, the consideration of Norway’s fifth and sixth periodic reports to the Committee took place in Geneva on the 23th and 24th of May 2018. In two sessions, a 24-person strong inter-ministerial delegation led by Norway’s Minister of Children and Equality, Ms. Linda Hofstad Helleland, answered the Committee’s questions about Norway’s implementation of the 1989 Convention of the Rights of the Child.

In her opening statement, Ms. Helleland noted that Norway’s laws provide good safeguards for children, that children have the right to participate and exert influence in all areas that concern them, and that children have the right to care and protection. She also emphasized the Government’s efforts to make sure that children are treated with respect and provided with the best possible formative conditions.

Click here to read the full text of Ms. Helleland’s opening statement.   

The Committee, a body of 18 independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention, asked a number of questions about the mandate of the Norwegian Children’s Ombudsman to receive complaints from children and about the impact of oil extraction activities in the Barents Sea on children. The experts also asked about budgetary allocations for children’s issues, regional differences in child welfare services, definition of the child, statelessness, intersex children’s right to change their names according to the newly acquired gender, sexualization of children in the media, separation of juvenile offenders from adult offenders, respect for children’s privacy, as well as a number of other issues.

Click here (part 1) and here (part 2) to watch Norway’s hearing in full.

In his concluding remarks, Hatem Kotrane, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Norway, said that despite certain areas of concern, the Committee was convinced that the majority of children in Norway had their rights protected and that they went through their childhood without major difficulties. 

For more information about the Committee on the Rights of the Child, go to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRC/Pages/CRCIndex.aspx