NORWAY: National Laws

Summary: General overview of Norway's national legal provisions on children's rights, including guidance on how to conduct further research.

National laws on children's rights

Status of the CRC in national law
The CRC was incorporated into Norwegian law through the Human Rights Act, 21 May 1999 No. 30. Under this Act, the CRC is directly applicable and takes precedence over conflicting national statutes.

There appear to be no provisions of the Norwegian Constitution that specifically address children's rights.

The Human Rights Act incorporated the CRC into national law as of 1 October 2003, meaning that the Convention takes precedence over statutory law. Norwegian laws central to children's rights include the Children Act and the Child Welfare Act, although legal provisions also appear throughout the Public Administration Act, Penal Code, and Civil and Criminal Procedure Acts. Other statutes relating to children include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Education Act/ Kindergarten Act
  • Adoption Act
  • Anti-Discrimination Act/ Equality Act
  • Norwegian Nationality Act / Immigration Act
  • Act on Social Services / Health Personnel Act / Municipal Health Services Act / Mental Health Care Act/ Patients' Rights Act
  • Guardianship Act
  • Working Environment Act
  • Victims of Violence Compensation Act

Legal Research:
The Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) maintains an official web page in Norwegian ( and in English ( Lovdata ( provides the text of legislation and the Legal Gazette in Norwegian, and English translations of some statutes are available through the University of Oslo ( The World Legal Information Institute's Norway portal ( and the United States Library of Congress ( also offer a selection of links to further resources on Norwegian law.

Compliance with the CRC
In its 2010 Concluding Observations, the Committee on the Rights of the Child took note "of the ongoing activities of the Government to amend laws or to adopt new ones in order to bring legislation in full harmony with the Convention " and further "welcome[d] the Government's initiative to order an expert review of the relation between the Convention and Norwegian law."

In depth analysis
The Committee on the Rights of the Child's 2010 Concluding Observations were largely complementary of Norwegian treatment of children's rights, in particular welcoming reforms to the Children Act 2006, the Immigration Act 2008 and the Child Welfare Act amendments of 2009. The Committee has, however, expressed concern about an eclectic range of discrete issues where national law may not meet the rights and duties laid out in the Convention. While the Committee has considered juvenile justice to be fairly well administered, marked by low levels of child imprisonment and commendable monitoring of those in detention, they have been critical of the ongoing practice of detaining children and adults in the same facilities.

Similarly, while the 2006 Children Act and 2008 Immigration Act have brought the principle of the best interests of the child firmly into national law, the Committee has highlighted certain aspects of the law where the principle is not fully implemented. Specifically, in child custody and immigration cases, the best interests of the child are not regarded as of paramount importance. In the area of privacy, the Committee was wary of the legality of parents revealing particulars of their child's life in online publications, particularly in the context of custody conflicts.

Norwegian anti-discrimination law is extensive, and with the passage of the Anti-discrimination Act 2006 alongside the creation of the Anti-discrimination Ombudsman and the Anti-discrimination Tribunal, there are a number of legal mechanisms to combat discrimination. The Committee did note the ongoing debate surrounding the potential inclusion of age as a prohibited ground of discrimination and the possibility of allowing children to file complaints on that ground. While not criticising the fact that this reform is yet to be realised, the Committee recommended that the State "carefully consider" extending the relevant legislation in this regard.

Case Law
CRC Jurisprudence
Please contact CRIN if you are aware of any cases in national courts that reference the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Case Law Research
Lovdata provides an extensive collection of case law, including Supreme Court cases (, Appellate Court cases (, and many English translations (

Current legal reform projects 
Please contact CRIN if you are aware of any current legal reform projects.    


Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.