Facts about the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud
Sunniva Ørstavik is the current Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud.
The Ombud shall oppose discrimination and promote equality regardless of factors such as gender, ethnicity, functional ability, language, religion, sexual orientation and age. The Ombud is professionally independent, but is administratively placed under the Ministry of Children and Equality.
The Ombud was established on 1 January 2006 under the provisions of the new Anti-Discrimination Ombud Act. The Centre for Equality, the Equality Ombud and the Centre Against Ethnic Discrimination (Senter Mot Etnisk Diskriminering, SMED) are now part of the new Ombud.
The Ombud's promotional work shall contribute to increased equality in society as a whole. This includes:
- Uncovering and pointing out conditions that counteract equality and equal treatment
- Contributing to increased awareness and pushing for changes in attitudes and behaviour
- Providing information, support and guidance in the workplace to promote equality and fight discrimination
- Providing advice and guidance with regards to ethnic diversity at work to employers in the public and private sector
- Imparting knowledge and developing documentation about equality and supervising the nature and scope of discrimination
- Acting as a meeting place and information centre that helps to arrange cooperation between relevant participants.
The Ombud shall enforce:
- The Gender Equality Act
- The Anti-Discrimination Act
- The Anti Discrimination and Accessibility Act (DTL)
- The chapter on equal opportunities in the Working Environment Act
- The non-discrimination clauses in the housing legislation
- The Tenancy Act
- The Housing Association Act
- The Residential Building Association Act
The law enforcement role of the Ombud includes making statements in connection with complaints regarding violations of laws and regulations that are within the working scope of the Ombud, and providing advice and guidance concerning this legislation.
Complaints about Discrimination
Anyone who feels they are being discriminated against should be able to present their case to the Ombud, who will ask for information from both parties, carry out an impartial assessment of the case and make a statement about whether discrimination has taken place. The Ombud's statement may be appealed to the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.
Guidance regarding rights
The Ombud also has a duty to provide guidance in discrimination cases that are not within the Ombud's scope, e.g. in cases on the reporting of racially motivated crimes, dismissal cases that are processed according to other rules than the equal opportunities section of the Working Environment Act, or applications for free legal aid.
The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud wants to exchange experiences both nationally and internationally. The Ombud shall ensure that Norwegian legislation and administration practice is in accordance with Norway's obligations according to the UN Women's Convention and the UN Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Created 1. Jan 2010