United Nations Experts on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples Conclude Visit to Norway


OSLO (15 March 2024) The United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) has concluded its country engagement mission to Norway (6-15 March 2024).

During the mission, the EMRIP delegation travelled to Karasjok and Tana in the Northern Sámi area and to Oslo where members met with and facilitated dialogue between government officials, representatives from Sámi communities, reindeer herders, Sea Sámi organizations, private companies, the Norwegian Human Rights Institution, NGOs, and others.

The delegation also visited Fosen wind industrial area in the Southern Sámi area, as well as a planned mining site at Repparfjord in the Sea Sámi area.

The mission was undertaken in response to a request from the Saami Council, supported by the Sámi Parliament, concerning the rights of Sámi people in Norway particularly focusing on their right to land, territories and resources and to ensure free, prior and informed consent as recognised under international human rights law, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The government of Norway welcomed and participated in the country engagement visit.

The delegation, comprised of Antonina Gorbunova, vice chair and head of mission, Sheryl Lightfoot, chair, and Binota Dhamai, member and former chair, thanked the requesters for proposing the mission, and for hosting several of the meetings together with organizations and Sámi representatives.

Additionally, the experts expressed their appreciation for the cooperative and positive engagement of the Norwegian government, private companies, and NGOs throughout the process.

The mission, which was undertaken in accordance with the Expert Mechanism’s mandate (Human Rights Council Resolution 33/25), was aimed at providing advice and guidance to the Sámi People in Norway, their organizations, and representative institutions, as well as to the Member State with a focus on enforcement of the domestic legislation, administrative measures, policies, and judicial functions as well as implementing domestic court and Treaty Bodies’ decisions pertaining to the cultural rights of the Sámi People in Norway.

The Expert Mechanism will provide a technical advisory note in coming months that will be published on its website. In addition, participants can share their views on best practices for country engagement at the Expert Mechanism’s annual session to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in July 2024.

This was the fifth country mission out of the seven country engagements undertaken by the EMRIP under this amended mandate. since its establishment in 2007. Previous country engagement missions included those to Finland (2018), Mexico (2018), New Zealand (2019), and Australia (2023).

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