EU publiserte nylig sin årlige rapport om status for menneskerettigheter og demokrati i verden. Menneskerettigheter står helt sentralt i alle EUs eksterne relasjoner, og rapporten inneholder en geografisk og tematisk gjennomgang av EUs innsats for å fremme og støtte opp om disse grunnleggende rettighetene. Situasjonen i Norge beskrives gjennomgående som god.
Overall human rights situation: Norway has historically been a strong supporter and promoter of human rights. It has ratified all the main UN conventions on human rights, and the protection of civil and political - as well as economic, social and cultural - rights is very strong domestically. Norway is considered to be one of the most gender-equal countries in the world. Protection of human rights defenders has long been a key priority for Norway.
Yet there is a public debate on some issues, including occasional criticism. This includes issues related to the use of solitary confinement in Norwegian prisons, to the Child Protection Service in some cases where children were removed from their immigrant parents for mistreatment, or concerns over whether the rights of asylum seekers - particularly minors - have been well enough protected. As in other European countries, there is on-going debate in Norway on the topic of government surveillance for security purposes and peoples' right to privacy.
EU action – key focus areas: As Norway and the EU have very similar views on human rights issues, close cooperation takes place in various multilateral forums (UN, Council of Europe, OSCE), as well as on the ground in their country-specific strategies around the world. In Norway, highlighting the various international days linked to human rights (including via social media) is a priority, as well as providing targeted information to relevant Norwegian stakeholders.
EU bilateral political engagement: In general, Norway has good mechanisms in place to assure the protection of human rights within its territory. Possible issues are best addressed in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in the UN Human Rights Council.
The EU Delegation in Oslo undertook several Public Diplomacy and Information activities during the course of 2017, in relation to the #EU4HumanRights Campaign, Diplomacy for Human Rights, Marking Oslo Pride 2017, and the International Women’s Day.