Head of state
King Harald V
Head of government
Jens Stoltenberg
Death penalty
abolitionist for all crimes
4.9 million
Life expectancy
81.1 years
Under-5 mortality
3.3 per 1,000

Protection and access to justice for survivors of sexual violence remained inadequate. Forced returns to Iraq continued. There were concerns about the conditions in reception centres for unaccompanied children seeking asylum.

Refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers

Throughout the year the authorities carried out forced returns of Iraqi rejected asylum-seekers to Baghdad, Iraq, contrary to guidelines from UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. Some were returned on charter flights jointly organized with other European states.

In April, the CERD Committee expressed concern about the conditions in reception and detention centres for asylum-seekers and rejected asylum-seekers in the country, including in reception centres for unaccompanied children. The Committee urged the government to bring conditions in such centres into line with international human rights standards.

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Violence against women and girls

Women were not adequately protected against violence in law or practice. Although the number of rapes reported to the police increased, more than 80 per cent of these cases were closed before reaching the courts. The definition of rape in the General Civil Penal Code continued to link the perpetrator’s guilt to the ability to prove that the sexual act was forced by the use or threat of physical violence.

In November, the UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern about the incidence of gender-based violence, including rape, and urged the authorities to ensure that perpetrators were investigated, prosecuted and, if convicted, punished.

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International justice

In April, the Supreme Court confirmed the verdict against Mirsad Repak, a naturalized Norwegian citizen who served in the Croatian Defence Forces and who had been found guilty of “deprivation of liberty” during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In its decision, the Supreme Court increased his sentence to eight years’ imprisonment due to the extremely serious nature of the crime.

In May, a 45-year-old Rwandan national was arrested and charged with participation in the genocide in Rwanda in April 1994. The National Criminal Investigation Service, KRIPOS, had been investigating the case since 2008, following an international arrest order issued by the Rwandan authorities. He remained in custody at the end of the year. A decision on whether to prosecute him in Norway was expected in 2012.

On 24 November, the Supreme Court ruled that a 58-year-old Rwandan national could be extradited from Norway to Rwanda to face charges of participation in the genocide there in 1994.

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