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Human Right Course
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What are human rights?
The history of human rights
What right do we have?
Civil and political rights
Economic, social and cultural rights
Human rights in times of war
The protection of Human Rights
Human rights in everyday life
Human Rights

Did you know

Did you know that around 800,000 Norwegians emigrated to the USA over a 100 year period (approx. 1825 to 1925) in the hope of a better life?




A refugee is someone who has had to leave their home because of a "well-founded fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, memberships of a particular social group or because of their political opinion".

It is often wars and conflicts that lead to people being chased from their homes. Refugees are experiencing an extreme life situation. You can imagine how difficult life would be if you had to leave your home, family, and friends, and had to face a new country, new surroundings and people who may speak a different language that you do not understand.

The UN adopted the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees in 1951 so that refugees would not be without rights. The convention gave refugees several inviolable rights such as the right to international travel documents and reunification with their closest family. The convention also says that the countries that refugees arrive in shall provide them with food, shelter and opportunities for education and work.

There are currently around 14 million refugees in the world: people who have been driven from their homes and have had to flee to a foreign country. Most of them are women and children. Between 20 and 25 million people have also had to flee within their own country, they are the so-called internally displaced.

Want, political instability and poverty cause many people in poor countries to dream of a better, safer life in the West. Those who flee from poverty because they hope for a better life are often called economic refugees. However, because they do not face political persecution they are not defined as refugees in a legal sense and can therefore not be granted political asylum and residence in Norway based on this. However, many such people are allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds.

Unaccompanied Minor Asylum Seekers

In 2003, almost 700 children arrived totally unaccompanied in Norway to seek asylum. Such children often come from countries where there are civil wars and internal conflicts that lead to the partition of the country and the separation of people.

Many children and parents lose each other in such situations.

Being alone in a foreign country has a strong psychological impact, especially if a child does not know what has happened to his or her parents.

Such children will often have experienced horrible things and feel very insecure. It is therefore important that they are told whether or not they can stay in Norway as quickly as possible.




- "Asylum" means "sanctuary" and an asylum seeker is a person who contacts a foreign country's authorities and asks for protection and permission to stay. An asylum seeker who is granted asylum is given "refugee status"

- Applications for asylum in Norway are handled by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI)

Fact box

- People who are refugees inside their own country's borders are called "internally displaced
persons". The refugee convention does not apply to them.

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