New arrivals face integration demands

Asylum seekers and immigrants arriving in Norway will soon face new demands aimed at ensuring better integration and competence in the Norwegian language. Education Minister Jan Tore Sanner of the Conservative Party claimed a proposed “integration law” marks the “biggest change in integration policy in Norway since 2003.” That’s when Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who […]

Security boosted at mosques, court

UPDATED: Norwegian police and the public themselves were boosting security at mosques around the country, as Muslims began their most important holiday season this week. In Oslo, neighbours literally formed a ring around a local mosque after a young Norwegian man fired shots inside a mosque in suburban Bærum and also was charged with killing […]

Mosque shooting widely condemned

A young Norwegian man who fired shots inside a mosque in suburban Oslo Saturday evening was refusing to talk with police on Sunday. He’s in custody, charged with murder and attempted murder, while Prime Minister Erna Solberg joined other top politicians in condemning what’s being investigated as a terrorist attack by a right-wing extremist. “All […]

Debate rises over language training

Immigrants and asylum seekers arriving in Norway are immediately urged to learn the language in order to get a job. Only some receive any public support for often-expensive language training, however, and now the government is under criticism for making more language demands. Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre, who also leads the opposition in […]

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 […]