Each year, people contact us to report bullying, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, abuse and violence. The common theme is that their lives are severely constrained. They are denied the opportunity of participating in society, controlling their own lives and their day-to-day existence.
Employers and union representatives contact us with questions on how to prevent discrimination in the work place.
Our main task is to promote equality and fight against discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and age.
Who we are
The office of the Ombud is a government agency, administratively subordinate to the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry provides our funding, but we operate independently from the government and can not be instructed by other authorities.
Hanne Inger Bjurstrøm is the current Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud. She sits for a period of six years, starting in 2016.
What we do
Our mandate and role are stipulated under the Norwegian Anti-Discrimination Ombud Act. We fulfill our mandate in different ways:
- We are actively involved in public engagements. We participate in public hearings; provide comments to draft laws and public actions plans; hold lectures, meetings and conferences on specific topics and we provide reports and analysis to the public on a range of issues. We also engage in public debates and provide information through the media.
- We monitor whether Norway fulfills its human rights obligations. The Ombud has an official role to ensure that Norway upholds its human rights obligations in line with three UN conventions: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); Convention on Racial Discrimination (CERD); and Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). We report directly to the UN on to what extent the Norwegian government upholds these three conventions.
- We offer guidance, free of charge, to individuals, employers and organisations. If you believe you have been discriminated against, you can receive advice and guidance from us. Organisations and employers may also contact as for guidance on how to prevent harassment or discrimination.
In addition the Ombud can provide guidance on how to bring a case to the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, which was established in 2018. The Tribunal is a complaints body and makes final, legally binding decisions on harassment and discrimination cases. It can also award compensation.
See below for details.
Goals and vision
We envision a society where power and influence is equally distributed, freedom is available to all, and dignity is inherent to each individual.
All equality and freedom from discrimination entails having the power to define for oneself what is important, the power to influence take control and realise one’s dreams. Knowledge of one’s own rights and opportunities is a prerequisite for real power and influence.
Freedom is a prerequisite to be one's self and to realise one’s potential, whether it concerns economic freedom, freedom from violence, freedom of movement, religion or freedom to make one’s own decisions. Equality is not about being the same, but about valuing who one is and the choices one makes.
Equality is all about ensuring that all people, regardless of who they are, are treated equally.
The Ombud is here to help you
We provide advice and guidance by telephone, letter or email. We can also meet you in person at our offices in Oslo. Communication with us is entirely informal. You may contact us anonymously if you so choose. Our services are free of charge.
We can guide you if you want to issue a complaint to the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. This means that we will evaluate your case legally, and make a statement about whether or not discrimination has occurred. We will ask for a report from you and from the individual you believe has exposed you to discrimination. In complaint case proceedings, the individual or the organisation you believe has discriminated against you, will know who you are. You cannot be anonymous.
The complaint should describe how the discrimination occurred. You should also submit documentation (emails, letters, memos), which show that you have been treated less favourably.
Information in English
We are currently working on our English website. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us.
Front desk: 23 15 73 00
Legal guidance services: 959 20 544 (can also communicate via SMS)
Toll-free number: 800 41 556
Fax: 23 15 73 01
The front desk is temporarily closed.
Our legal guidance services are available weekdays between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.
Please note that our staff return all calls using an unlisted number.
If you have questions specifically related to temporary lay-offs and protection against discrimination during the coronavirus outbreak, you can find more information here.
You can also contact us via our encrypted contact forms with secured data and privacy protection.
- Contact us via our encrypted contact form.
- Contact us via ID-porten. You will need Norwegian electronic ID (e-ID).
You can find more information about e-ID here.