1. general information about norway 1 A. Geographical, economic, demographic, social and cultural indicators 1



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COMMON CORE DOCUMENT – NORWAY


1.GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT NORWAY 1

A.GEOGRAPHICAL, ECONOMIC, DEMOGRAPHIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL INDICATORS 1

1.Geographical indicators 1

II.Economic indicators 2

III.Demographic features 8

IV.Historical background 10

V.Social and cultural features 11



B.CONSTITUTIONAL, POLITICAL AND LEGAL STRUCTURE OF THE STATE 25

1.Form of government 25

II.Democracy, political parties and the electoral system 25

III.The Norwegian Government 27

IV.The Church of Norway 27

V.Counties and municipalities 28

VI.Legal structure 28

VII.Membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) 29

VIII.Recognition of non-governmental organisations 30

2.GENERAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 31

C.ACCEPTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS NORMS 31

1.Main international human rights conventions and protocols 31

II.Other United Nations human rights and related conventions 35

III.Conventions of the International Labour Organization (a selection) 36

IV.Conventions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 36

V.Conventions of the Hague Conference on Private International Law 37

VI.Geneva Conventions and other treaties on international humanitarian law 37

VII.Regional human rights conventions 38



D.LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL 38

1.Legislation 38

II.Competencies of judicial, administrative and other public authorities concerning human rights 41

III.Remedies 41

IV.The European Court of Human Rights and other international individual complaint mechanisms 42

E.FRAMEWORK WITHIN WHICH HUMAN RIGHTS ARE PROMOTED AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL 42

1.Introduction 42

II.The Storting (the Norwegian parliament) 43

III.County and municipal authorities 44

IV.National human rights institutions 46

V.Dissemination of human rights instruments 49

VI.Raising human rights awareness among public officials and other professionals 49

VII.Promotion of human rights awareness through educational programmes and government-sponsored public information 50

VIII.Promotion of human rights awareness through the media 52

IX.Role of civil society, including non-governmental organisations 52

X.Budget allocations and trends 53

XI.Development cooperation and assistance 53



F.REPORTING PROCESS AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL 54

I. UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 54

II. UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 54

III. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 54

IV. The UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 55

V. The UN Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) 55

VI. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) 55

VII. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 56



3.INFORMATION ON NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUALITY, AND EFFECTIVE REMEDIES 57

G.PROTECTION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION - INTRODUCTION TO THE NORWEGIAN LEGAL FRAMEWORK 57

1.The Gender Equality Act 58

II.The Act on prohibition of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and religion 59

III.The Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act 59

IV.The Act on prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression 60

V.The Working Environment Act (Chapter 13) 61

VI.The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud 61

VII.The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal 62

VIII.Ratification of Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 63

H.ORGANISATION OF THE GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO PROMOTE EQUAL RIGHTS AND PREVENT DISCRIMINATION 64

1.Gender equality 64

II.Equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people 65

III.Equal rights for persons with disabilities 66

IV.Equal rights for ethnic minorities 67

V.Indigenous peoples 68

VI.National minorities 70

VII.Immigrants 71

VIII.Asylum seekers 74

IX.Migrant workers 74



X.Freedom of choice in respect of where to live 77





  1. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT NORWAY

  1. GEOGRAPHICAL, ECONOMIC, DEMOGRAPHIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL INDICATORS




    1. Geographical indicators





  1. Norway is a monarchy situated in Northern Europe. It consists of the western and northern parts of the Scandinavian Peninsula and the northern territories of Jan Mayen and the Svalbard archipelago, and Bouvet Island, Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land in the Antarctic. To the east, Norway shares borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia, and to the north, west and south the country is surrounded by ocean: the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea and the Skagerrak. Norway’s mainland coast, including fjords and bays, is more than 20 000 km long. Although it is Europe’s sixth largest country in terms of land area, Norway is sparsely populated and ranks only 26th in terms of population.




  1. Norway is divided into 19 counties and 428 municipalities (2013).




  1. Distances are long – the distance between the southernmost point and the North Cape is about 2 500 km. There are dramatic variations in the landscape, which encompasses fjords, glaciers, waterfalls, mountains, lowlands, agricultural areas and large forests. Norway is one of the few countries in the world with fjords – deep indentations in the coastline formed by the scouring action of glaciers millions of years ago. The highest point is Galdhøpiggen (2 469 m above sea level). Sixty per cent of the mainland is less than 600 m above sea level, 20% is 600–900 m above sea level and 20% is more than 900 m above sea level.




  1. The weather fluctuates considerably from year to year, especially in the north, which is on the edge of the global temperate zone. However, given the country’s extreme northerly position, its mainland climate is surprisingly mild. Norway is the northernmost country in the world to have open waters. This is due to the trade winds that blow east–west across the Atlantic to the American continent and the warm currents flowing from the Equator to the Norwegian Sea, where the angle of the Norwegian coastline and the open path to the Arctic Ocean guides the temperate air and waters to more northerly latitudes.




  1. Norway covers an area of 385 178 km2. Seventy-nine per cent of Norway’s 5 051 275 inhabitants (1 January 2013) live in urban settlements (942 urban settlements with populations of at least 200). In 2011 the proportional increase in the number of people living in urban settlements was 1.5% (about 60 000). During the period from 2007 to 2012 the average population density of urban settlements in Norway rose from 1 593 to 1 643 inhabitants per square kilometres.



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