Norway will

Freedom of religion or belief on the
agenda-Introduction to the
Norwegian MFA Minority project
Petter Wille
The right to choose and practice a
religion or a belief is an important
part of an individual’s life and a
fundamental human right. Freedom
of religion or belief means that the
state has an obligation to safeguard
this right. Protection and promotion
of human rights are a central
element of Norway’s foreign policy.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
International human rights conventions of particular importance for
religious minorities.
• The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
• The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
• The Convention on the Rights of the Child
• The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women.
Norway will:
• engage to ensure that religious minorities are not
discriminated against on the grounds of their beliefs,
• engage to ensure that religious minorities’ rights are
safeguarded in legislation and practice,
• promote freedom of religion or belief as an important
human right and work for peaceful coexistence founded
on tolerance, respect and equality,
• work to move religious minorities’ rights higher up the
international agenda.
• Establish contact with civil society and
alternative groups
• Raise issues with the authorities related to the
human rights situation of religious minorities,
• Call attention to areas where legal protection is
lacking, and cases of discrimination
• Establish contacts with religious communities in
order to identify problems that could be
followed up i.a. through UN mechanisms