European network of legal experts in the non-discrimination field
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The information contained on this page represents the situation as of 1 January 2014 and is a summary of the country report produced by the country expert from the network. The summary can be downloaded here as well.

Contact: Else Leona McClimans

Country context

Norway is a relatively homogenous country with approximately 5 million inhabitants.

Main principles and definitions

Norwegian anti-discrimination legislation addresses the following grounds of discrimination within all sectors: gender, ethnicity, national origin, descent, skin colour, language, religion or belief, sexual orientation and disability. Discrimination based on political views, membership of a trade union and age is covered within working life.

Enforcing the law

Cases alleging instances of discrimination may either be brought before an ordinary court or be brought to the national machinery set up to assess cases of  discrimination: The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud (the Equality Ombud) and the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal (the Equality Tribunal).

Main legislation

Norway has ratified most of the major international instruments combating discrimination, with the notable exception being Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Material scope

National legislation applies in principle to all sectors of public and private employment and occupation, including contract work, self-employment, military service, and holding statutory office.

Equality bodies

The Equality Ombud and its appeal body the Equality Tribunal constitute the administrative independent equality bodies set up to hear individual complaints to possible breaches of the non-discrimination legislation, The Ombud and Tribunal are a free low-threshold complaint system, and are alternative dispute mechanisms outside the judicial system, addressing cases of discrimination.

Go to the European Commission - Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities This initiative is financed by the EC Programme Progress. But the views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.