“Even though there has been progress on some issues that were criticised in previous cycles, several problems remain”, said Gunnar M. Ekelove-Slydal, editor of the report.
“The UPR is a unique process where a broad range of human rights issues can be raised. UN member states have the possibility to challenge each other and share experiences on how to advance human rights protection. The NGO Forum report is meant as a guide to both Norway and to other countries on outstanding human rights issues. We intend to follow-up the report in discussions with representatives of democratic states that we know have an interest in the issues that we bring up and can discuss them with Norway during the UPR process”, says Ekelove-Slydal.
A range of sections of the report deals with the use of solitary confinement in prisons, police cells, and some other institutions. As an example, 426 persons were subjected to pretrial solitary confinement in 2016. This was 14 times higher than the number in Denmark, even if the population in Denmark is 10 % larger than in Norway.
Solitary confinement is also frequent in police cells, mental health care institutions and in the police immigration detention centre (Trandum). A common denominator of the criticisms of the use of solitary confinement, is that individual assessment of the need for such measure is not carried out systematically.
The report consists of 28 sections, dealing with issues related to freedom of religion or belief, protection against torture and inhuman treatment, non-refoulement, legal aid, violence against women, rights of ethnic and sexual minorities, indigenous rights, ethnic profiling, hate crimes, discrimination, cessation of refugee status, and statelessness.
Given the set limitations on the length of the report, the issues are only briefly described. However most of the issues have been dealt with in more depth in previous reports of the NGO Forum to the UN Committee against Torture and the UN Human Rights Committee.
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