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 […]

Greens party backs dual citizenship

Norway’s small but potentially powerful Greens party (Miljøpartiet De Grønne, MDG) decided during its national board meeting over the weekend to support rising calls to allow dual citizenship in the country. Norway has long been one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t allow dual citizenship, forcing new immigrants to decide whether they’re […]

Language lacking in integration plans

Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug could enjoy some support even among opposition politicians on Thursday after rolling out her 69 proposals for better integration of asylum seekers in Norway. Her plans for language training, however, were widely branded as inadequate even though she has stressed the need for newcomers to learn to speak and understand Norwegian quickly. With the […]

Extra funding granted for integration

Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug announced Friday that the government was earmarking another NOK 320 million (USD 40 million) to help finance settlement and integration of refugees in local communities. Around 16,000 new refugees need to be settled around the country this year alone. “This is very good news and recognizes the good job the communities have […]

Integration high on Høyre’s agenda

Norway’s Conservative Party (Høyre) had dozens of major issues to debate at its annual national meeting this weekend, but among the most pressing and current was integration. Prime Minister Erna Solberg made it clear in her opening speech on Friday that if the party is to live up to its motto of “‘opportunities for everyone,’ […]