Various UN bodies regularly examine Norway’s follow-up of the international human rights conventions it has endorsed. On 7 November 2017, CEDAW examined Norway’s follow-up of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
In that connection, several players submitted alternative reports to the UN Committee on the situation for women in Norway. On 23 January 2017, the Parliamentary Ombudsman submitted its 2016 thematic report on women in prison. Norway’s National Human Rights Institution also submitted written input to the UN Committee and had a meeting with the Committee before the examination of Norway at which, among other things, particular emphasis was placed on the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report. Read the National Human Rights Institution’s input.
Should increase efforts to improve prison conditions for women
Several of the recommendations from the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s thematic report were followed up in CEDAW’s concluding observations for Norway of 17 November 2017. The Committee points to several of the conditions described in the thematic report, and expresses concern about, among other things, the poor physical conditions in prisons with female inmates, the fact that women are at greater risk of serving their sentences in prisons with poor access to appropriate outdoor areas, and that the health services are not adapted to women, including mental health services and substance abuse rehabilitation services.
The Committee went on to recommend that Norway step up its efforts to improve the prison conditions for women so that they are equal to that of male inmates, and that the health services for female inmates should be improved. Read all the recommendations from the Committee.
The Norwegian authorities now have two years to follow up the recommendations.
The thematic report shared internationally
The Parliamentary Ombudsman’s thematic report on women in prison has also been sent to the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) and distributed via the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), the Council of Europe’s newsletter for national preventive mechanisms, as well as the organisations Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and Penal Reform International.