Asylum applications drop to new low

Only 982 asylum seekers arrived in Norway during the first half of this year, the lowest level since 1997. The conservative government coalition’s strict asylum and immigration policy has made Norway far less hospitable that it was in earlier years. The number of people seeking refuge in Norway declined another 13 percent, according to the […]

Ex-minister’s actions ‘cynical, serious’

The conviction of a former government minister for the Conservative Party, on charges he abused his power to exploit vulnerable asylum seekers, can further further hurt the credibility of Norway’s elected leaders. It comes after nearly two years of revelations about political misbehaviour at the highest levels. Several Members of Parliament, for example, have admitted […]

Retired politician sentenced to jail

Svein Ludvigsen was one of Norway’s most powerful politicians. Now a court in his native Troms has sentenced him to five years in prison for abusing his power to obtain sexual favours from young male asylum seekers. The court for Troms County, where Ludvigsen was fylkesmann (county governor) after leaving Parliament and his government post […]

Deported refugee family returns

Four members of a refugee family who were controversially deported during the weekend were on their way back to Norway Tuesday. The mother of the family was returned already on Sunday, for health reasons, and then Afghan authorities refused to accept her three children. That came as a huge relief to their Norwegian supporters in […]

Fafo foundation recalls racism report

After weeks of debate and some harsh criticism, the Norwegian research foundation Fafo has decided to withdraw a recent report on Norwegians’ views on racism. Fafo announced just before the weekend that it plans to correct the report and publish a new version. Fafo wrote on its own website that the highly disputed formulation of […]

UDI allows justice minister’s au pair

UPDATED: Norway’s immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet) announced Tuesday that it was reversing its decision last month that an au pair from the Philippines had illegally moved into the home of Justice Minister Jøran Kallmyr. The decision had prompted her to fly home to the Philippines, but now she’s now been cleared to be an au […]

Justice minister had an illegal au pair

News broke in Oslo late Wednesday afternoon that presented an ultimate irony: An au pair living in the home of Norway’s new justice minister from the conservative Progress Party, which champions restrictive immigration law, was sent back to the Philippines after immigration agency UDI claimed she’d been working illegally for the minister’s family since August of last […]

Survey indicates underlying racism

A new report from the research foundation Fafo shows broad support among Norwegians for “active policies” to promote equality and prevent discrimination. Around 25 percent of all those questioned, however, said they fully or partially agreed that some human races are more intelligent than others. That topped newscasts on Norwegian Broadccasting (NRK) Monday morning, not […]

Sylvi’s back, to both cheers and groans

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s scandal-ridden Progress Party needed something to rev up dejected troops at its annual national meeting this weekend, and got it: Prime Minister Erna Solberg reappointed the party’s highly controversial Sylvi Listhaug to her cabinet, just a year after Listhaug was forced to resign as justice minister. “This appointment must either mean that […]

Anonymity can aid job applicants

Government Minister Monica Mæland thinks it’s probably much easier for people with names like “Lars” or “Kristin” to get a job in Norway than it is for those with names that suggest non-Norwegian heritage. Her ministry is thus launching a new approach to affirmative action by testing a digital form of anonymous job applications. “In the […]