Bishop: ‘Let illegals work and pay tax’

Bishop Emeritus Tor Berger Jørgensen is calling on the Norwegian government to allow everyone who has been living illegally in Norway for five years or more, especially would-be refugees, to be allowed to work. Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug was quick to reject the bishop’s proposal as “completely unrealistic.” Jørgensen, who now leads the board of the organization Mennesker i […]

More calls made to take in more refugees

Norway’s conservative minority government isn’t only facing confrontations over how “green” its state budget will be, or how much oil money should be tapped. It also must respond to new calls that the country take in even more asylum seekers than the roughly 31,000 who arrived last year. The stream of refugees has since plunged. Instead […]

More asylum centers to be shut down

Norway’s immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet) is shutting down another 3,800 places for asylum seekers to live, citing the sharp downturn in refugees arriving in Norway. The cuts come in addition to the 7,000 lodging spots offered to refugees at around 50 asylum centers that were shut down in  August. “This will unfortunately also affect the […]

Hotel and restaurant workers exploited as job discrimination complaints rise

State labour officials have concluded that eight out of 10 companies in the restaurant and hotel industry violate Norwegian labour laws. Young employees and asylum seekers are among those most vulnerable to being exploited by “non-serious players,” claimed the report from the labour regulatory agency Arbeidstilsynet. “There are far too many employers who don’t follow fundamental work […]

Hair salon owner appeals anti-hijab conviction

A hair salon owner in Western Norway who’s been active in anti-Islamic organizations has appealed a local court’s conviction that she illegally refused to serve customers wearing a hijab.  Salon owner Merete Hodne in Bryne, Rogaland County, was convicted of discriminating against customers based on religion and ordered to pay both a fine of NOK 10,0oo […]

Immigrant children match local skills

A new study by state statistics bureau SSB shows that after just seven years in Norway, immigrant girls are doing at least as well or better than Norwegian boys born in the country. Students with minority background are matching natives’ skills more quickly than ever before, with their families motivated to build new lives. “Language […]

Lessons from the Kirkenes tragedy

NEWS ANALYSIS: Kirkenes’ new, bright yellow school complex stands out in the otherwise muted Arctic city in Norway’s far north, this week for all the wrong reasons.  The murders of one of the school’s young students and his mother, both from Thailand, have shaken Kirkenes and also present painful lessons to be learned about the situation for immigrant spouses all over […]

Record number of refugees settled

Norwegian towns and cities, working with state officials, have found homes for a record number of asylum seekers who have secured refugee status in Norway. Never before have so many refugees been settled, and in every single municipality (kommune) in the country. “The communities deserve a big ‘thank you’ for their willingness and ability to […]

Dual citizenship momentum grows

Momentum is building in Norway to finally end the country’s ban on dual citizenship, with two activists working hard to convince state politicians that it promotes democracy and integration. Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug is non-committal, saying only that her ministry is currently “evaluating” the issue. “It’s too early to say,” Listhaug said Thursday, what her ministry […]

Listhaug taps Labour veteran to lead integration

Norway’s tough-talking Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug of the conservative Progress Party has made an unusual choice in naming Labour Party veteran Libe Rieber-Mohn as new director of the state directorate for integration and diversity (IMDi). The two parties are usually at odds on most issues, but Rieber-Mohn was quick to point out that her new […]