Article 30 Participation in cultural life, recreational activities, entertainments and sport
273. See also Article 9.
274. Norwegians are very active in their leisure time. Outdoor and cultural activities are extensively pursued, and participation in sports clubs and associations is high. Going for a walk is a household word. There is no significant difference between the adult population with disabilities and the population generally when it comes to the proportion that are members of organisations, sport clubs or associations. Nor is there any difference in the proportion who report having done voluntary work for an organisation or association (Statistics Norway, EU-SILC 2011).
275. Providing for athletes with disabilities is an important aim of Norwegian sports policy. The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) is the state's most important partner as regards sporting activities. Participation in sport for persons with disabilities is facilitated through grants to NIF. There is a clear expectation that NIF should give priority to this area when distributing the government grant. In conformity with the NIF General Assembly's 1996 decision, athletes with disabilities are provided for under the umbrella of sport generally. The decision is based on an ambition that everyone should be able to find an opportunity for sport in their local community. NIF reports having about 11,000 members with disabilities.
276. In the sphere of music, seven orchestras have installed audio induction loops or other equipment to help the hearing-impaired. Special places are reserved for wheelchair users and lifts or other arrangements are installed for wheelchair users and others with mobility difficulties. In addition to physical facilitation. Some music institutions have also entered into a cooperation with the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted on special facilitation for the blind. In the sphere of stage productions, 17 national/regional institutions have made adaptations for wheelchair users and others with mobility difficulties, and most have also installed aids such as audio induction loops to assist the hearing . Resources are granted annually from the budget of the Ministry of Culture for sign language interpretation at theatre performances etc.
277. The Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille (NLB) is a public undertaking that produces and lends out public library literature, including newspapers and study literature to persons with disabilities that make it difficult for them to read printed texts. The 2015 allocation to NLB is close to NOK 51 million. In addition, subsidies are given to the audio library of the organisation Christian Association for the Visually Impaired in Norway. The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts the news in sign language on weekdays.
278. A support scheme has been established to provide subsidies for summer camps run by organisations for children with disabilities and a particularly extensive need for help. A separate support scheme has been established to provide subsidies for holiday and welfare programmes run by voluntary organisations for persons with disabilities. Annual support of around NOK 15 million is granted for these schemes.
279. Escort cards issued by the municipal authorities are intended to give persons with disabilities in need of assistance the same opportunity to participate in society as the general population without having to pay for tickets for two persons. The escort card functions as evidence of the need for assistance. The scheme is voluntary for the municipalities and is not statutory, but since 2001 has been established in very many municipalities. Most municipalities observe a recommended lower age limit of eight years. A person with an escort card should be able to use it throughout Norway. Both public and private operators in the cultural and sporting world normally accept the escort ID and give a free ticket to the escort. It is also accepted by a number of operators in the transport sector, but not by any airlines.
280. Through the National Insurance Act, children and young people aged under 26 can obtain assistive aids for training and stimulation, to maintain and improve their motoric and cognitive functional ability. There is no user fee on such devices for persons under the age of 26. For persons over the age of 26 there is a smaller user fee.
Religious belief and practice
281. The Congregations of the Deaf are the Church of Norway`s congregations for deaf and severely hearing impaired people. In addition to having their own services in Norwegian sign language, they contribute to the design of sign language resource material that can be used by parishes to facilitate church services, religious instruction for children, etc. To promote knowledge on how best to facilitate religious and life stance practices for persons with disabilities who receive health care services, the Directorate of Health have collaborated with the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities, the Church of Norway National Council and others on drawing up the guidelines Samhandling mellom helse- og omsorgstjenesten i kommunene og tros- og livssynsfeltet [Cooperation between municipal health and care services and religious and life stance communities]. These and other guidelines are available on www.deltakelse.no.
Article 31 Statistics and data collection
282. Statistics Norway estimates that 12-15 per cent of the Norwegian population has disabilities, depending on how the group is defined. At present, persons with disabilities are not a statistical category, and no official statistics are prepared on this group in particular.
283. A number of surveys have been conducted and several registers are maintained to provide information on persons with disabilities in Norway, both on Norwegian authorities' and organisations' own initiatives and as a result of international cooperation on statistics, for example through Eurostat. However, the registration of persons with disabilities in statistics and public registers is mainly based on self-reporting and also on peoples' own assessment of their functional ability. The Statistics Act sets strict limits for the distribution of personal data – more strict than the Public Administration Act or the Personal Data Act – and it does not distinguish between sensitive and non-sensitive information. Statistics received by the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs from Statistics Norway are largely based on statistics from the surveys and registers described below.
Documentation of living conditions and universal design
284. The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs is now working systematically on comprehensive documentation of the living conditions of persons with disabilities. The statistics are based largely on a set of indicators for living conditions and equality for disabled persons provided annually by Statistics Norway. They include figures for the general population for purposes of comparison. The documentation is based on existing statistics from other public authorities and on the best available research on living conditions. The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs is also working on indicators for accessibility and universal design. User participation is an important principle in the documentation work. A reference group consisting of user organisations, researchers and other public authorities ensures the quality of the work. This means that the statistics are relevant and are perceived to be legitimate. The Directorate also complies with stringent criteria regarding protection of privacy, and does not publish sensitive data about persons with disabilities.
285. An important goal of the documentation work is to make statistics and research available. This is done primarily through the website of the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, which presents figures and analyses on the living conditions of persons with disabilities. See: http://www.bufdir.no/Statistikk_og_analyse/Nedsatt_funksjonsevne/.
Statistics and knowledge are mediated here in an accessible and comprehensive manner. The website meets the requirements of ICT accessibility. The statistics are intended to be a resource for decision-makers, experts and interest organisations to draw on.
286. Each year, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) produces a supplement on persons with disabilities to shed light on their connection with the labour market compared with the population at large. Similar surveys have been conducted annually since 2002, and are funded by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The statistics are an important part of those delivered by Statistics Norway to the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs . See: http://www.ssb.no/arbeid-og-lonn/statistikker/aku/kvartal/2014-10-29.
Health and care statistics
287. The purpose of the IPLOS register is to gather and process data from the municipalities on persons who have applied for, receive or have received nursing and care services, to form a basis for the monitoring, quality assurance, planning, development and overarching management and administration of the social and healthcare service. The register also provides a basis for research. In addition to the purposes mentioned above, data in the IPLOS register can be processed and used to prepare national, regional and local nursing and care statistics. The aim of IPLOS is to provide information for management of the service and municipal leadership, and to enhance the quality of case processing and the service. The IPLOS register contains information on all applicants for and recipients of municipal healthcare services. The register contains data on: persons and housing conditions, applicants for/recipient of services has been assessed by dental health personnel/doctor, need for assistance, vision and hearing, social participation, relevant diagnoses, municipal services, and whether an individual plan has been prepared. The Directorate of Health is responsible for the processing of the registry data. The register is obligatory for all municipalities. For further information in Norwegian, see: http://helsedirektoratet.no/kvalitet-planlegging/iplos-registeret/Sider/default.aspx.
Surveys of living conditions
288. Surveys of living conditions are conducted annually in the form of questionnaires, and cover a representative selection of the population. Some people are selected to answer questions on topics that are important in people's daily lives. The surveys use the answers to follow trends in living conditions in Norway. A random selection of participants are drawn from the Population Register, and those picked to take part receive information material in the post. Some selected topics are focused upon as a means of describing living conditions. The main topics are housing, health (EHIS), working environment and economy (EU-SILC): But living conditions are about more than these. They also include the various activities we take part in, the contact we have with others, what our surroundings are like, and so on. The results of the surveys are published in Statistics Norway's Statistics Bank, and are available to the public on www.ssb.no. The surveys form part of a major European cooperation (EU-SILC and EHIS) in which Statistics Norway participates. This enables us to use the results to compare health and living conditions in many European countries. The EU statistics body Eurostat publishes results from EU-SILC and EHIS which are available to the public. See ssb.no The statistics are an important part of those delivered by Statistics Norway to the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs .
289. KOSTRA (Municipal-State Reporting) is a national information system that provides management information on municipal and county authority activities. Municipal and county authorities report accounting data and information on services to the central government through Statistics Norway. The reported data are published on Statistics Norway's KOSTRA website as empirical data or combined and published as key figures. Key figures and empirical data are intended to contribute to giving the population at large, the media, the municipal sector itself, the state and others the opportunity to obtain information on most of the municipal and county authorities' activities. This information is also intended to contribute to openness, transparency, and improvement of the services offered in the municipal sector.
290. There are several ongoing random sampling surveys that include questions on disability. One such example is the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment's Inhabitants Survey, which since 2014 has included questions on whether the respondent has a disability. Statistics Norway has had and has assignments associated with persons with disabilities over time, with funding from the Directorate of Health, the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Climate and the Environment. Apart from this, Statistics Norway refers to the regular publications of the Nordic Social Statistical Committee; see also http://norden.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:798076/FULLTEXT02.pdf. Statistics Norway can assist the respective authorities with obtaining further statistical data as required.
Article 32 International cooperation
291. In international cooperation, the Norwegian authorities have given priority over time to the work of improving the situation of persons with disabilities. In connection with Norway's ratification of the Convention, the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion issued a policy document on Norway's international efforts for the rights of persons with disabilities, outlining a number of concrete measures. See: Norway’s international efforts to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. This was followed up in the Report no 10 to the Storting Opportunities for All: Human Rights in Norway’s Foreign Policy and Development Cooperation (2014-2015), which the Government published in December 2014. See: https://www.regjeringen.no/en/dokumenter/meld.-st.-10-2014-2015/id2345623/?docId=STM201420150010000ENGEPIS&ch=1&q=.
292. Focus is placed on strengthening implementation of the Convention by providing aid for education, humanitarian efforts, work for global health and for women and gender equality. Great emphasis is placed on supporting and involving persons with disabilities and their organisations in this work. The Government will conduct a harmonised policy with integration of work to promote and protect human rights into all aspects of foreign and development policy.
293. In 2012, 58 million children were excluded from basic schooling. Among the children that the global society has failed to reach, we find the poorest and most marginalised children, including children with disabilities. In 2014, the Government published Report no. 25 to the Storting Education for Development (2013-2014), which contains concrete points to follow up with regard to children with disabilities among Norway's bilateral and multilateral partnerships alike. See: Education for Development. In addition to special efforts, the interests of children with disabilities constitute a cross-cutting consideration that must be included in everything we do in this area. Norway will contribute in particular to ensuring that the interests of children with disabilities are integrated into national education plans in countries in which we have bilateral cooperation on education. We will use the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and UNICEF as arenas for furthering inclusion of marginalised children and adolescents.
294. The Norwegian prime minister has issued invitations to a summit meeting in Oslo in July 2015 to discuss how the work of completing the task of providing a good education for everyone can be strengthened. Prior to the meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has appointed an international group of expert to provide input to the summit meeting on how children and adolescents with disabilities can best be included in this effort.
295. Work for persons with disabilities also constitutes an important part of Norway's humanitarian efforts. For almost two decades, Norway has played a leading part in international work for victims of mines and cluster bombs. In recent years, Norway has focused on stressing that the situation of the victims is a human rights issue that must be viewed in connection with work for the rights of persons with disabilities. In dialogue with Norway's partners in humanitarian aid, we take up the need to integrate persons with disabilities into plans and responses.
296. Norway is actively engaged in the work on rights of persons with disabilities in the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly, and also takes up issues related to the rights of persons with disabilities in other multilateral fora such as the Commission on the Status of Women, the World Bank, WHO and UNESCO. Norway is working for persons with disabilities to receive special attention in the post-2015 agenda, and believes sustainability goals should focus on ensuring that persons with disabilities have the same rights to education and decent work, and that the underlying data to support this work are available. Norway supports the work of the World Bank and WHO on developing the Model Disability Survey questionnaire by funding Norwegian expertise from Statistics Norway. Among other things, the survey aims to facilitate international comparison and monitoring of the Convention globally. Norway also supports the multi-donor fund of the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD).
297. International cooperation is also important for the development and exchange of experience of services and programmes. In the capacity of observer, Norway attends the EU’s High-Level Group on Disability. In the Council of Europe, Norway is represented in the group of experts who make various recommendations within the Action Plan to promote the rights and full participation of people with disabilities in society: Improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in Europe (2006–2015). Norway also takes part in Nordic cooperation in this area.
298. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is engaged in strategic cooperation with the Atlas Alliance, a consortium of Norwegian disabled people's organisations that engages in international development work. The strategic cooperation entails the ministry consulting with the Atlas Alliance on the international work to strengthen the rights of persons with disabilities. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) gives financial support to the work of the Atlas Alliance to promote the rights of persons with disabilities in developing countries.
299. In 2012, Norad performed an evaluation of Norway's input to promote the rights of persons with disabilities in its development work. The general conclusion was that the rights of persons with disabilities had not been very strongly integrated into this work. The recommendations ensuing from the evaluation are being followed up actively. For example, all recipients of grants must now show how human rights, including the rights of the disabled, are integrated into their programme. Inadequate follow-up on the part of the organisations has led to grants being reduced.
Article 33 National implementation and supervision
300. The Convention touches on measures and rights within a number of sectors and areas of society. The Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion coordinates the work of implementing the Convention, including the work on Norway’s report. The intention is that the sector ministries will cooperate extensively. There are also plans for broad-based cooperation with civil society in the following up of the Convention. The Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discrimination Ombud has been appointed the national surveillance body. See www.ldo.no . The Ombud is a free and independent body. Civil society also has a central part to play in the surveillance process. The Norwegian Federation of Organisations of Disabled People (FFO) has been given the responsibility of coordinating the work of preparing a shadow report.