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Norway: UN expert visits to assess rights of people with disabilities

Norsk versjon vedlagt
Norwegian version

GENEVA (26 September 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas, will make an official visit to Norway from 2 to 11 October 2019 to assess the situation of people with disabilities.

“During my visit, I intend to learn about the laws, policies and concrete measures that the Government is taking to implement the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals,” Devandas said.

“I am particularly keen to engage constructively with the central and county authorities on the issues of legal capacity, coercive treatment, and the institutionalisation of people with disabilities, in order to identify solutions to the challenges and gaps in these areas,” she said.

The Special Rapporteur will meet Government representatives at national, county and municipal levels, the national human rights institution, the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud and other independent bodies, as well as people with disabilities and their organisations. She will also meet the Sami Parliament and address the situation of indigenous people with disabilities.

Devandas will travel to Oslo, Tromsø and Karasjok. She will visit inclusive and special education schools, institutions for people with disabilities, psychiatric facilities and a sheltered workplace.

At the end of her mission, the UN expert will hold a press conference on Friday 11 October to share with the media the preliminary observations from her visit. It will begin at 14:00 local time at the Office of the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud. Address: Mariboesgate 13, 0183 Oslo, 4th floor. Access to the press conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will submit a comprehensive report on the visit to the UN Human Rights Council, containing her findings and recommendations, in March 2020.


MsCatalina Devandas (Costa Rica) was designated as the first Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities in June 2014 by the UN Human Rights Council. She has worked extensively on the rights of persons with disabilities and inclusive development for the past 20 years, including with the World Bank, the United Nations, and international donor organizations. Her work priorities include socioeconomic inclusion, the promotion of full citizenship of persons with disabilities, and embracing diversity/understanding that persons with disabilities are part of human diversity.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human, country page: Norway

For press enquiries and additional information, please contact:
In Norway (during the visit):
Ms Cristina Michels (+41 79 444 4702, cmichels@ohchr.org)
Mr. Edin Babic (+47 975 39 147 / Edin.Babic@ldo.no) for questions about the press conference only.

In Geneva (before and after the visit):
Ms Cristina Michels (+41 22 928 9866 / cmichels@ohchr.org) or write to sr.disability@ohchr.org

In Geneva (during the visit):
Ms Azin Tadjdini, (+41 22 917 9400, atadjdini@ohchr.org), or write to sr.disability@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact: Mr. Jeremy Laurence (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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