The United Nations recommends that all States have a National Human Rights Institution to protect and promote human rights within their jurisdiction. In Norway, the National Human Rights Institution is called “Norges Institusjon for Menneskerettigheter” or “NIM” for short. We are headquartered in Oslo and have a second office in Kautokeino, with a total of 20 employees.
NIM is an independent public body established by the Norwegian Parliament in 2015 to strengthen the implementation of human rights in Norway in accordance with the Constitution, the Human Rights Act and international human rights law. We have a legislative mandate to monitor and report on the human rights situation in Norway; advise the Norwegian authorities on their human rights obligations; raise public awareness about human rights; promote human rights education, training and research; and facilitate national and international cooperation on human rights.
We therefore work with a wide range of human rights, from freedom of expression and privacy to the rights of vulnerable groups such as asylum seekers, indigenous peoples, children and the elderly. Our task is not to deal with individual cases, but to provide expert advice and guidance, so that the State authorities can best fulfil their human rights obligations.
National Human Rights Institutions play an important role in the effective implementation of human rights, often acting as a bridge-builder between the international community, the State, civil society and other actors. NIM makes regular submissions to Norwegian parliamentary hearings and consultation processes regarding legislation that may impact on human rights. We also submit reports to various international human rights mechanisms and monitor the implementation of their recommendations. Additionally, NIM submits an annual report to the Parliament and produces thematic reports on a wide range of human rights issues.
NIM is managed by a Board and a Director. The Chair of NIM’s Board is Marit Berger Røsland and the Director is Adele Matheson Mestad. Most of our employees are lawyers and political scientists. The employees have different backgrounds, for example from Norwegian and international courts, academia, the Prosecuting Authority, the State administration and private law firms. Some also have experience from the Foreign Service, the United Nations and other international organisations, political work, civil society and the media. You can read more about our staff here (in Norwegian).
NIM has ‘A status’ accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), which means we comply with the requirements of independence, impartiality and integrity under the Paris Principles.