European Commission against Racism and Intolerance Issues Third Report on Norway
28 May 2004
On January 27, 2004, the Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) made public its Third Report on Norway. Specific attention was devoted to Roma-related issues in Norway. In its report, ECRI states, at Paragraph 61:
"In its second report, ECRI noted the research work being undertaken on assimilation policies and systematic serious human rights violations, such as forced sterilisations of women, practiced in the past in Norway against the members of the Romani communities. ECRI understands that the establishment of a system of reparation for human rights violations has been examined by the Norwegian Government in close consultation with the representatives of the Romani communities. The latter have stressed that human rights violations were not limited to forced sterilisation of women, but included other practices such as lobotomy and forced separation of children, and that any system of reparation should take all violation of human rights into account. As concerns other areas, representatives of the Romani communities point out that recent legislation has made more difficult the exercise by Romani people of certain professions in the craft industry traditionally exercised by them, as qualifications or equipment that they do not always possess have now been made compulsory for these professions. The survival and development of the Romani language is also an area of priority for some representatives of these communities. […]."
ECRI recommended that Norwegian authorities "[…] pursue their dialogue with the representatives of the Romani communities in view of the establishment of a system of reparations for past human rights violations committed against the members of these communities. It also encourages the Norwegian authorities to intensify their efforts to support the Romani language and to provide children of itinerant families with regular education. ECRI furthermore encourages the Norwegian authorities to ensure that the exercise by Romani people of certain traditional professions in the craft industry is preserved." The full text of the ECRI report is available on the Internet at: http://www.coe.int/t/E/human_rights/ecri/1-ECRI/2-Country-by-country_approach/Norway/Norway_CBC_3.asp#TopOfPage. (ERRC)