Norway's Initial Report

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Easy-to-read information

190. An electronic word list, Ordbanken, has been developed, containing around 1,000 simply defined words grouped into 11 key subject areas in society. Ordbanken serves as an aid for people with disabilities and for others involved in preparing and publishing information. The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs has published an easy-to-read version of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for persons with intellectual disabilities. The purpose of the booklet is to make it easier for persons with intellectual disabilities to learn about their rights. Klar Tale is an easy-to-read weekly newspaper for persons with language and reading difficulties. The use of enlarged text and simple language makes the newspaper easier to read than others. Klar Tale is published in print and Braille editions and as a talking newspaper in CD and podcast formats. The Klar Tale Foundation receives funding for operating the newspaper.

Article 22 Respect for privacy

191. Pursuant to Article 102 of the Constitution, everyone has a right to respect for their privacy and family life, their home and their communication. The right of respect for the individual's privacy, family life, home and correspondence is also laid down in the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, which apply as Norwegian law in the form of the Norwegian Human Rights Act. This right applies to all physical persons, irrespective of functional ability. The Norwegian Personal Data Act is intended to protect the individual against violation of privacy through the processing of personal data. The Act applies to all physical persons, irrespective of functional ability. Pursuant to the Personal Data Act, health data are sensitive personal data, and processing of this type of information is subject to particularly stringent rules. Information on health and rehabilitation is protected for persons with disabilities in the same way as for others.

Protection of personal data in the healthcare sector

192. The protection of the personal data of persons with disabilities presents a particular challenge to the healthcare sector. This applies when healthcare services for individual users are made subject to tendering and procured on the market. Specifications in invitations to tender must sometimes be so detailed that they pose a risk of the potential recipient of the service being identified. This may entail violation of the privacy of persons with disabilities unless their consent is obtained. Amendments are now being made to the procurement legislation aimed at both safeguarding privacy and achieving the best possible procurement of services.
Correctional services
193. The right of the correctional services to search prisoners, their rooms and possessions and to monitor their correspondence, visits and telephone conversations is strictly regulated in the Execution of Sentences Act and appurtenant regulations and guidelines. Discrimination on the grounds of disabilities is prohibited; see the Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act. The same stringent control of what is relevant to police investigations applies to investigations of persons with disabilities as to all others.

Article 23 Respect for home and the family

194. Article 102 of the Constitution stipulates that everyone has a right to respect for their family life and their home. Pursuant to Article 103 third paragraph, second sentence of the Constitution, the state authorities shall create conditions that facilitate a child's development, including ensuring that the child is provided with the necessary economic, social and health security, preferably within its own family.

Measures to strengthen the family, the parental role, and conditions for children growing up

195. Norwegian measures to strengthen the family, the parental role and the conditions under which children grow up are universal schemes, but can also be particularly relevant for certain types of disabilities. The family counselling offices play a central part here. These offices are available to everyone, so can also be of benefit to parents with disabilities or parents with disabled children. The family counselling offices offer courses on living together that target parents with disabled children. The course is called ‘What about us?’ Surveys show that parents with disabled children encounter special challenges in their own relationship. The Government's plan of measures to prevent violence and assaults among youngsters also contains measures of relevance to families with disabled children.

Parents with cognitive difficulties

196. It is estimated that around 600 children per year are born to parents at least one of whom has cognitive disabilities. Moreover, it is estimated that around 25 per cent of all placements made by the Child Welfare Service may be a result of the parents having cognitive disabilities. Many of these cases involve additional problems such as substance abuse and psychiatric issues. Many of these children are placed in foster homes. A research report also concludes that the measures implemented in these families generally are not tailored to the special challenges facing this group. The Child Welfare Service often uses the same measures for this group as for families with other challenges. Guidance and counselling are used, but are not geared to the needs of these parents. The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs is following up by building up the Child Welfare Service’s expertise on parents with cognitive disabilities, and by helping to ensure that children in these families are properly looked after.


197. The Adoption Act Commission recently conducted a full assessment of the principles of the adoption institution and a general evaluation of what the Act should contain, including drafting a new Adoption Act. The Commission has promised to single out and treat separately the subject of adoption of children in need of special support. The background to this is national and international developments in this area, and the requirements and assumptions in the Hague Convention. The Adoption Act Commission is of the view that all children must have the same possibility to be adopted, and stresses that as a result of the non-discrimination principle, children with special needs should have the same possibility for adoption as other children. It is stressed here that no international regulation prohibits the adoption of children with serious disabilities, illness, HIV, etc. A general ban on this would be in conflict with the non-discrimination principle. The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs has a dedicated adoption portal.

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