The Gáldu Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was integrated into the Norwegian National Human Rights Institution on 1 January 2017. The National Institution thus increases its competence related to the rights of the Sami and indigenous peoples.
- The integration will ensure that the National Institution can play an important role when it comes to Sami law and indigenous peoples rights, states Director Petter Wille.
The final decision to integrate Gáldu into the National Institution for Human Rights was adopted by Parliament on 20 December 2016. The decision was confirmed in connection with the consideration of the state budget for 2017, but was preceded by a long and thorough process to facilitate integration.
Gáldu’s six employees will remain in the Kautokeino office. This means that the National Institution has now established a new office in northern Norway, which will ensure close and effective follow-up of Sami society, amongst other things. The former Director of Gáldu Laila Susanne Vars, now Senior Legal Adviser at the National Institution, is also satisfied:
- We, as a Sami competence centre, will benefit from becoming part of a larger human rights environment. At the same time, we have a lot to contribute now that the National Institution will be more visible and work more systematically in promoting indigenous peoples’ and minority rights.
The recommendation from the Presidency of Parliament (the Storting) upon adoption of the Act on Norway’s National Human Rights Institution (Innst. 216 L (2014-2015)), clearly states that the protection of indigenous rights is an important part of the National Institution’s activities.