UN committee questions children’s minister / News / The Foreigner

UN committee questions children’s minister. Norway to account for violations to children’s rights. Audun Lysbakken, the Socialist Left Party’s (SV) minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, has travelled to Geneva today to appear before the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Norway is obliged to report to the CRC – which falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – every five years, and the minister is to respond to failures apparent in Norway’s last appraisal, delivered at the end of 2008.

audun, lysbakken, reidar, hjermann, ombudsman, children, rights, minister, ministry, norwegian, un, geneva, norway



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UN committee questions children’s minister

Published on Thursday, 21st January, 2010 at 12:51 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 21st January 2010 at 15:41.

Norway to account for violations to children’s rights.

Audun Lysbakken
Audun Lysbakken
Photo: Berit Roald/Scanpix


Failures

Audun Lysbakken, the Socialist Left Party’s (SV) minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, has travelled to Geneva today to appear before the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Norway is obliged to report to the CRC – which falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – every five years, and the minister is to respond to failures apparent in Norway’s last appraisal, delivered at the end of 2008.

As head of the Norwegian delegation, Lysbakken is to answer allegations that the country has failed in its duties to protect the rights of children under 18.

Weaknesses

The Norwegian Ombudsman for Children (Barneombudet) has also submitted its own, independent report to the CRC – which, it says, serves as a commentary on the Ministry’s own report – criticising the government’s policies in a number of key areas:

“Today there is a gap between regulations and the reality in which many children live…There are substantial deficiencies in society’s ability to identify children at risk. The Ombudsman for Children is concerned about children who are exposed to violence, neglect, and abuse, (as well as) children with psychological problems and children with disabilities,” it writes.

The report also focuses on the government’s failure to fulfil the rights of Sami children, those from ethnic minorities, in prison, underage refugee asylum seekers, and is especially scathing of Norway’s child welfare services; claiming there are serious shortcomings in following up children who are the victims of cruelty.

Promising

Lysbakken will also have to account for why children are still subjected to forced marriages, and what measures the government both has, and proposes to implement to fight discrimination.

The Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion also believes questions will be raised by the CRC as to how Norway ensures that all children – especially those from a minority background, many of whom live below the poverty line – have an adequate standard of living.

Meanwhile, Reidar Hjermann, the Ombudsman himself, is positive to the committee’s questions.

“It’s an important signal showing that children’s rights are being elevated to a higher political level, and is also very promising,” he tells Dagsavisen.




Published on Thursday, 21st January, 2010 at 12:51 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 21st January 2010 at 15:41.

This post has the following tags: audun, lysbakken, reidar, hjermann, ombudsman, children, rights, minister, ministry, norwegian, un, geneva, norway.





  
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